Afterglow

As ever, Rudolph's subject is love cross-wired. Nolte is 'Lucky Mann', a fix-it man ready, willing and able to screw away from home with the tacit consent of his wife Phyllis (Christie), a retired B-movie actress. This ageing couple can't conceal the cracks in their marriage caused by the disappearance of their only daughter some years ago. A yuppie couple represent their mirror image: Marianne (Boyle) desperately wants to have a baby, but Jeffrey (Miller) refuses to have sex. As Marianne puts Lucky to work in the spare bedroom and Jeffrey chats up Phyl, each character in turn steps through the looking glass. The film begins with a man teetering on the edge and ends in a howl of anguish - and Tom Waits' aching 'Somewhere'. In between, Rudolph's taste for monologue and metaphorical conceit may prove too arch or theatrical for some, but when he zooms in slowly on Nolte's crumpled, leonine dignity or Christie's pained, still luminous smile, he achieves a singular nakedness. If the younger couple don't achieve the same resonance, they bring a welcome off-kilter energy to the mix. This rakes over the ashes, the inflections and infractions of an unhappy, still loving marriage with a memorable, plaintive grace.

Release details

Duration: 114 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Alan Rudolph
Screenwriter: Alan Rudolph
Cast: Nick Nolte
Julie Christie
Lara Flynn Boyle
Jonny Lee Miller
Jay Underwood
Domini Blythe
Yves Corbeil
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