Picks and Pans Review: 8½ Women
John Standing, Matthew Delamere, Vivian Wu, Toni Collette
The title, at least, is precise. A financier, rich and recently widowed, transforms his stately country home into a seraglio for eight-point-five mistresses. The fraction is a mute, legless Japanese woman. Cute touch.
Director Peter Greenaway (The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover) apparently took inspiration for his latest movie curiosity from the ripely sensual women who parade through Federico Fellini's films—especially the 1963 classic, 8½, starring Marcello Mastroianni. Women is more like 10 reduced to the second digit. Greenaway has a perverse genius for making naked flesh look as unappealing as wood pulp, and the women here are quarrelsome, demented and overpowering. If Fellini had put the courtly Mastroianni in bed with Xena, "Warrior Princess, you might have had similarly peculiar results. (R)
Bottom Line: Harem scarem
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