Daily Archives: January 1, 1994


A nice little thriller that would be even nicer if it were half an hour shorter. Madeleine Stowe plays a blind violinist in an alternative band who regains her sight through a corneal transplant only to become an eyewitness to a murder. Aidan Quinn is the detective she becomes involved with. Directed by Michael Apted from a witty script by Dana Stevens, this movie has a lot of things going for it: lively cinematography by Dante Spinotti that contrives to suggest the peculiarities of the heroine’s regained sight and makes the most of some Hopper-esque lighting schemes; a good use of Chicago locations (Stowe lives with her seeing-eye dog at Milwaukee and Damen); charismatic and inventive performances by the two leads, with Stowe feisty and energetic and Quinn intermittently recalling Montgomery Clift; and good backup work by others in the cast (James Remar, Peter Friedman, Bruce A. Young, Paul Dillon, Matt Roth, and Laurie Metcalf). There’s also pleasant music by the Drovers, the Chicago band that Stowe’s character plays in. (JR) Read more

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

The most obnoxious case of masculine swagger since Andrew Dice Clay, with just a tad of Paul Lynde thrown in for spice, Jim Carrey defies you not to bolt for the exit while playing the title hero in this 1994 comic mystery, apparently concocted with the idea of giving the world another The Adventures of Ford Fairlane. I find Clay peaches and cream next to this guy. With Sean Young, Courteney Cox, Tone Loc, Dan Marino, and lots of dick jokes for boys under 11. Written by Carrey, Jack Bernstein, and director Tom Shadyac. 86 min. (JR) Read more

The Accompanist

In Paris during the German occupation an impoverished 20-year-old pianist (Romane Bohringer) goes to work as an accompanist and all-around servant for a famous classical singer (Elena Safonova) who, along with her businessman husband (Richard Bohringer, Romane’s father), is a known collaborationist. The pianist’s love/hatred for her employer goes through further changes when she finds herself delivering a letter to the singer’s lover (Samuel Labarthe) and when the husband decides to break with the Germans and seek political asylum in England. Director Claude Miller’s free adaptation (1992, 111 min.) of a best-selling novel by Nina Berberova (much better known abroad than here), cowritten with Luc Beraud, isn’t very fresh in its story or period ambience, but Romane Bohringer proved to be someone to watch, and we’re given another opportunity to listen to classical music (producer Jean-Louis Livi also produced Tous les matins du monde and Un coeur en hiver). (JR) Read more