HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Shock Wave
Mom and Dad Save the World
Leatherface
Grimsby
Caniba
Bedroom, The
Dark Tower, The
Better Watch Out
Beguiled, The
Year of the Comet
Levelling, The
Dog Days
Annabelle Creation
Once Upon a Time in Shanghai
Sssssss
Woman in Question, The
Atomic Blonde
Doulos, Le
Okja
Bob le Flambeur
Wedding in White
Léon Morin, Priest
Napping Princess, The
Scorpions and Miniskirts
Berlin File, The
Beaches of Agnès, The
Blue Jeans
Garokawa - Restore the World
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Gleaners & I, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
Always Agnès: 3 from The Varda Collection Blu-ray
Re: Possession of Vehicles - Killer Cars, Trucks and a Vampire Motorcycle
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
Witching Hour: Hammer House of Horror on Blu-ray
Two Sides of Sellers: The Party vs The Optimists
Norse Code: The Vikings vs The Long Ships
Over the Moon - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 2
   
 
  Pret-A-Porter Buy this film here.
Year: 1994
Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Kim Basinger, Julia Roberts, Tim Robbins, Richard E. Grant, Stephen Rea, Lauren Bacall, Marcello Mastroianni, Sophia Loren, Sally Kellerman, Teri Garr, Lili Taylor, Forest Whitaker, Danny Aiello, Jean Rochefort, Michel Blanc, Chiara Mastroianni
Genre: Drama
Rating:  5 (from 3 votes)
Review: There's a scene towards the end of Robert Altman's Pret-A- Porter which literally strips the fashion world bare. Dumb blonde TV reporter Kitty Potter (played by the far-from dumb Kim Basinger) suddenly realises that the glamourous events she's paid to cover, represent nothing more than empty, meaningless bullshit. Fashion. Is that all there is?

History recalls the majority of critics were asking the same question about Altman's film, and arrived at pretty much the same conclusion as recited in 'Potter's Last Stand.' Far be it for me to suggest the thumbs-down brigade were out to lunch with their considered opinions, but I find Pret-A-Porter to be hugely entertaining, and full of uniformly good (rather than isolated great) performances which are a total delight.

Altman's film takes a humorous, sometimes farcical look at the Ready-To-Wear Paris fashion shows, where models, designers and journalists join together in not-so perfect harmony; trust me, there's more than enough going on to keep you glued to the screen for the duration, though accusations that Ready-To-Wear (a much better title) neither informs nor entertains are decidedly off-putting for potential viewers. The former assertion does hold more than a few grains of truth: Altman makes little attempt at really getting under the skin of The Fashion Show, leaving his audience none the wiser with regard to the business and preparatory aspects of such a major event. Perfectionists will undoubtedly point to what may be a considerable oversight, but I was more than happy to sit back and enjoy a fine cast performing with style.

We've got Tim Robbins and Julia Roberts forsaking their journalistic duties to spend the entire week getting to know each other better, aided by copious quantities of wine, and interspersed by the odd row; the deal here is the pair are totally oblivious to the media circus and the hot news story of the-murder-that-never-was!

There's also high jinx aplenty when a trio of fashion editors (Tracy Ullman, Sally Kellerman and Linda Hunt) fall foul of a demented Irish snapper (Stephen Rea) who bags a succession of career-threatening photos (watch out for Kellerman's reprise of a certain scene from M*A*S*H). Meanwhile, Lyle Lovett does bugger all (and does it hilariously, too), Rupert Everett strives to 'keep it in the family' with his sister-in-law and Richard E. Grant almost steals the show with his "She doesn't have to have legs" speech - priceless!

A word too for Altman's 'Golden Oldies', who include the wonderful Lauren Bacall, Loren and Marcello Mastroianni (replaying a scene from Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow), plus Anouk Aimee putting the cat amongst the pigeons with what can only be described as The Clothes Off show!
Viewers will also be delighted to spot cameos from Cher, Harry Belafonte, Rossy de Palma, Teri Garr and all-too brief appearances by the gorgeous Helena Christensen.

In the final analysis, Pret-A-Porter probably rates about 6.5 on the Altman-ometer, which means it's pretty darned good.
Reviewer: Steve Langton

 

This review has been viewed 13154 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Robert Altman  (1925 - 2006)

Maverick director responsible for some of the most distinctive American films of the last 35 years. After serving in the military during the 1940s, Altman learnt his filmmaking craft by making advertisements and training films before breaking into TV, where he worked throughout the sixties. Altman's breakthrough feature was MASH in 1970, an acerbic Oscar-winning Korean war comedy that introduced his chaotic, overlapping narrative style. Throughout the seventies, Altman turned in a series of acclaimed films including Images, Brewster McCloud, California Split, The Long Goodbye, the western McCabe & Mrs Miller and the brilliant musical drama Nashville. The 1980s proved to be less successful, as Altman struggled in a decade of slick blockbusters to raise funds for his idiosyncratic movies; nevertheless, the likes of Popeye, Fool for Love and Vincent & Theo were all flawed but interesting work.

Altman returned to the A-list of directors with 1992's cameo-laden Hollywood satire The Player, which was followed by the superb ensemble drama Short Cuts, based on the stories of Raymond Carver. Since then until his death Altman turned in almost a film a year, which ranged from the great (Gosford Park, The Company) to the less impressive (Dr T & The Women, The Gingerbread Man), but always intelligent and unusual. At over 80, Altman remained an outspoken anti-Hollywood figure who showed no sign of slowing down right until the end, with his last film A Prairie Home Companion released in 2006.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
Keith Rockmael
Paul Shrimpton
Ian Phillips
Jensen Breck
   

 

Last Updated: