More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Advertisement

Overall Rating
3.6

Awesome: 20%
Worth A Look: 20%
Average60%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 4 user ratings


Latest Reviews

Lion King, The (2019) by Peter Sobczynski

Stare by Jay Seaver

DreadOut by Jay Seaver

S He by Jay Seaver

We Are Little Zombies by Jay Seaver

Lion King, The (2019) by alejandroariera

Darlin' by Jay Seaver

Astronaut (2019) by Jay Seaver

White Storm 2: Drug Lords, The by Jay Seaver

Vivarium by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed


Amateur (1995)
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Chris Parry

"On the Hartley scale it ranks fairly high. On any other scale..."
3 stars

You have to give Hal Hartley one thing. He can get away with dull, droll dialogue. "I'm sorry." "Do you know why you are sorry?" "No. [pause] I don't know why I'm sorry. [pause] But I am."

When a former nun (Isabelle Huppert) trying her hand at writing pornography, stumbles across a man with amnesia (Martin Donovan), she makes it her mission to help him back to health. But with every piece of his past that they discover it becomes clearer that her new friend was a nasty piece of work. A nasty piece of work with people out to kill him, no less. Enter Sophia (the gorgeous Elina Lowensohn), the man's former wife and infamous porn star, and some strange accountants, and things start to get more bizarre still.

Anyone familiar with Hartley's work knows he's non-commercial. Except maybe the folks who put up the cash for Flirt and Simple Men. Amateur was Hartley's ground-breaker - a money-maker that made people sit up and take notice. It's certainly got style and a certain European feel to it. It's Hartley through and through, but is it entertaining?

Well, yes, kinda. A bit. But you can guarantee that the average Joe megaplex attendee will be quickly bored by the pacing, and lack of... well.. crowd pops. It's a talkie flick, and while Hartley's characters and cast choices are always intriguing, there's only so long you can look at a car wreck before it get's old. For mine, there's just not enough happening in Amateur for it to be a 'must see'. The story drags, the dialogue lags, the dramatic pause count is incredibly high and stylish directing alone just can't carry a film through two hours.

The cast is strong. Huppert and Lowensohn are both fine actresses who deserve a bigger stage, Donovan is a bit plank-like, but passable for an actor playing a man who doesn't remember anything, and Hartley fave Parker Posey makes a small appearance.

Bottom line, a film geek will enjoy it. A film fan will be bored by it. European film fans will love it.

Sidenote: If one more video trumpets itself as "up there with Pulp Fiction" or "like Pulp Fiction" (as Amateur does on the front and back cover I saw) I shall personally get medieval on someone's ass. "Two thumbs up" and "Pulp Fiction" quotes are as redundant as the FBI warning before the previews. Enough already.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=240&reviewer=1
originally posted: 01/26/99 21:13:47
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

2/09/17 Louise Unusual, stylish and hugely enjoyable! 5 stars
11/07/06 mike z better than "simple men", not as good as "trust" a worthy example of what a hartkey film is 4 stars
4/14/00 rowena Wicked movie!!!--Reminiscient of polanski's "Cul-de-Sac" which i love too!:) 5 stars
11/27/98 Mr.Pink Huppert plays a nymphomaniacal virgin ex-nun, who's job is writing porn stories. Bizarre! 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:


Discuss this movie in our forum

USA
  19-May-1995 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  02-Feb-1996 (M)


Directed by
  Hal Hartley

Written by
  Hal Hartley

Cast
  Isabelle Huppert
  Martin Donovan
  Elina Lowensohn
  Damian Young



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
eFilmCritic.com: Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast