A travesty no matter how you look at it, this flaccid art-world farce is best approached as a landmark of dubious ensemble work. Watch this cast of highly respectable performers do what’s arguably the worst work of their collective careers, and you’ll see proof that—with a bit of money and a script strategically loaded with scene-stealing bad behavior—any vanity project can be indulged into completion.
Danny Huston minces and cackles his way to ignominy as Art Spindle, a sharp-dressed, coldhearted London dealer whose pursuit of Piet Mondrian’s first “Boogie Woogie” painting sets the plot in motion. His assistant (Graham, contractually obligated to expose her breasts) sleeps with his accent-uncertain competitor (Skarsgrd), whose sex-starved socialite wife (Anderson) pursues a hot-to-trot installation artist. Toss in Alan Cumming’s deluded, suicidal gay curator and Amanda Seyfried’s fresh-faced, panties-flashing It girl, and you have the perfect mix for a bad-faith satire that sells clichs as raw truths. How truly trite is Boogie Woogie? Dealers are called Art, poodles go by Picasso, contemporary London seems a lot like 1980s New York, and people are neatly classified as either parasite or host. A full-cast finale debates art versus reality—the ultimate irony, given that neither notion makes an appearance in the movie whatsoever.—Eric Hynes