Film Scouts Reviews

"High Art"

by Robin J. Schwartz

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May 14, 1998

If you think Ally Sheedy is nothing but a lightweight ex-bratpacker, boy are you in for a jolt. As Lucy Berliner, a once-famous photographer now living with her heroin-addled German lover (a chilling Patricia Clarkson) in a perpetually smoke-hazed, sycophant-filled apartment, Sheedy is arresting. Outwardly hard and world-weary, Lucy hides an immense vulnerability, which begins to emerge when her neighbor Syd (Radha Mitchell) comes to fix the pipe leaking into her apartment below. The relationship that develops between the two - as Syd, a frustrated photo editor at a high-fashion glossy, tries to mount a retrospective of Lucy's work - undulates through various forms of seduction (drugs, sex, success) ... skidding into an ending that, for all its ambiguousness, leaves you with an unsettling vision of the potential hells that can result.

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