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USA 2002
Directed by
Steven Soderbergh
103 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

Full Frontal

Steven Soderbergh’s highly self-referential film, penned by Coleman Hough and shot largely on video by the director was sandwiched between his big budget remakes, Ocean's Eleven (2001) and Solaris (2002). Well established by this time as an A-list director he calls on some marquee mates like Brad Pitt, Catherine Keener, David Duchovny  and Julia Roberts and mixes them in with lesser lights like David Hyde Pierce (Frazier) and Enrico Colantoni (Just Shoot Me) as well as Miramax boss Harvey Weinstein for a presumably tension-releasing, rather narcissistic take on the world of movie-making and actors.

I was rather led astray by the movie-within-a-movie premise (and there’s even a movie within with David Fincher playing its director), never being sure how the two characters played by Roberts and Blair Underwood were supposed to be connected and indeed the, to put it generously, Godardian ploys that Soderbergh uses to disrupt conventional expectations (like filming a love-making scene through semi-opaque glass bricks) earned the film a good deal of opprobrium on its release.from critics who derided it as pseudo-art. Yet if the film doesn’t add up to much as a whole, there are enough droll moments to make this a very acceptable take on the human comedy L.A-style and a decent addition to the sub-category of films about film-making.




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