Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
1 woman became 2/2 women became 3/3 women became 1
Pinky is an awkward young teen who starts work at a spa in the CA. Desert. She becomes overly attached to fellow spa attendant, Millie when she becomes Millie's roommate. Mille is a lonely outcast who desperately tries to win attention with constant upbeat chatter. They hang out at a bar owned by a strange pregnant artist and her has-been cowboy husband. After each of 2 emotional crises, the three woman steal and trade each other's personalities until they settle into a new family unit that seems to give each woman what she was searching for.
Born from a dream and sharing the same inconsistent logic, Robert Altman’s 3 Women is a strange and elusive drama exploring the transitory nature of identities. Although best known for his narratively complex ensemble dramas it is Altman’s experimental chamber pieces that provide some of his most interesting work.
As the title implies, 3 Women, is centred on the complicated and shifting relationships between three women in the Californian desert. Sissy Spacek stars as the naive Pinky, a young woman from Texas who becomes obsessed with her colleague and roommate, Millie (Shelley Duvall). Millie is a woman with a deluded sense of confidence who is blindly ignored by all those around her. The third woman in this triumvirate is Janice…
A lot of Altman's films feel like dreams to me but this was the only one literally based on one. It is also the one that by the end, appears unfinished, like all dreams, but still feels like a full journey has been taken. Altman received the green light from 20th Century Fox without a finished screenplay, only the dream idea and who would play the leads. Further evidence of how much influence was turned over to these rule-breaking maverick filmmakers in the 70s. Makes modern studio output look like the nightmarish comittee-approved, watered down, juvenile-marketed, Twilight Zoney counter-universe that we all know it has become.
I sort of wish the film ended at the 'dream' sequence. Altman remains perfectly ambiguous until then, and even had he not resolved the mystery, there would have been more than enough to draw one's own conclusions from it. It's in those final 10 minutes that the film becomes erratic and incoherent. Like Lost Highway, making sense doesn't seem to Altman's motive; but unlike Lynch's piece, the way Altman lays out the rest of the film seems to suggest it's leading somewhere concrete, leaving its resolution unfulfilling, vague, and virtually unknowable.
However, that's merely a fraction of the picture. The rest, following the eerie relationship shared between Duvall and…
the failure of an attempted escape from a self-replicating cycle of inherited behavior, a whirlpool of prescribed femininity, its transmission from generation to generation a form of psychological transference. Janice Rule fires bullet after bullet at a picture of a snake eating its own tail.
Not much to add to my Time Out New York review, written for its Film Forum run in 2002, back when there was still no DVD. I've seen this three times now and on both repeat viewings it's turned out to be much weirder and more impervious to analysis than I remembered. That's mostly a good thing.
An insert provided with the DVD of Mulholland Drive offers "David Lynch's ten clues to unlocking this thriller," directing confused viewers to "notice appearances of the red lampshade" and "pay particular attention to the beginning of the film." Robert Altman's 3 Women—a tour de force of dream logic set in Southern California, involving two young women whose identities shift like tectonic…
Heavy with symbolism and sticking with a slow pace, 3 women talks about themes that go from, loneliness, identity, female attraction, and to relationship dynamics.
Is in a lot of ways a very odd film, but it does an amazing work with awkward interactions to showcase the personalities and relationships about the characters giving us a lot of information about them. The acting is also amazing from both of Spacek and Duvall.
Can you believe I'd never seen this before??
Sissy Spacek: creepy or hot? The world may never know.
I finally get where PTA learned to match bizarre music to his scenes.
And poor scrawny Shelley didn't know she was only a couple years away from torture at the hands of Kubrick...
Robert Altman's would-be American art film (1977) is murky, snide, and sloppy, but the director's off the hook because he dreamed it all. Sissy Spacek and Shelley Duvall are two Texas girls who meet while working in a California sanatorium (courtesy of 8-1/2) and exchange identities while Altman struggles with feminism and the American dream. As usual, the director plainly despises his characters but offers no alternative to their pettiness, although his sneaky jokes at their expense give the film its only glimmer of style.
Robert Altman's surreal film is one of the most haunting films I have ever seen.
This study of identity, isolation, loneliness and sexuality is pure cinematic magic. Shelley Duvall and Sissy Spacek are pitch-perfect.
If you've not seen it, prepare yourself for a film completely unique and oddly disturbing.
Robert Altman is one seriously unpredictable filmmaker. He can make light-hearted, comedy of the mainstream like Popeye and Dr. T and Women, but then out of left field, he gives you something like this. A masterful art film. His versatility is worshiped in the film industry. Watching this film, you can see his extraordinary talent. It's one the most carefully prepared and well edited thrillers I've ever seen. The story is very common to film, it's execution is what makes it so fresh and entertaining. The film drones with it's repetitious soundtrack. It cuts back and forth to symbolic images. The performances from Shelley Duvall and Sissy Spackek are abnormal, and so is the environment they live in. How it compares to his other works, I don't know. But, to those who are avid Art-house filmgoers, or fans of the modern day Altman, Paul Thomas Anderson, cannot miss out on seeing this.
Shelley Duvall and Sissy Spacek are fucking amazing in this movie. Most of the movie feels like the first act of a horror flick - all ominous suggestions and creepy ironic humor. And the movie never really stops being illusive and suggestive. There's never a release. But in watching this as part of a Robert Altman retrospective, it struck me how little dialogue there is. It's as if Shelley Duvall's character takes it upon herself to fill the movie's silence with inane nonsense because the quiet is too deafening. The tone is more precise. The acting is more deliberate. And I even think the humor is more cruel and misanthropic than in most Altman movies. There is no one in…
I still don't know what this movie was about, but it was bizarrely fascinating, and I ate up every minute of it.
Absolutely stunning. Altman says the idea for this film came to him in a dream, and indeed, the film moves along in a subconscious, dream-like state. The film is anchored by fantastic performances from Duvall (who won Best Actress at Cannes for this) and Spacek.
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
A big collection of films that might be considered as strange, mindfucking, surreal and weird. Sorted by year. Suggestions are…