Business Of Strangers

Movie Review by Dr Kuma

Starring: Stockard Channing, Julia Stiles, Fred Weller
Director: Patrick Stettner

After years of being recognised as the “girl” who played Rizzo in GREASE, Stockard Channing is now finally being recognised as an actress with an incredible range. She really is becoming the US version of Dame Judy Dench – always dependable and solid. Her latest offering is a masterclass in understated acting, which is her best performance since SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION in 1993. It’s strange to think that this film written and directed by Patrick Stettner was not a play first. As in SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION the story itself is perfect stage material, very slight and although it’s memorable enough would be much better suited to that medium. When an entire cast of a film numbers ten and that includes the actors who play ‘the airport announcer’ and ‘the man at the pool’, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

The story concerns two business women at each end of the corporate ladder, one at the top, one starting and concentrates on how when their paths cross their lives are affected.

To go into anymore detail would spoil the plot, which as I’ve said is slight but memorable.
Julia Stiles rises to the level set by Channing and plays to her strengths. Frederick Weller (excellent in his role of Brian Wilson in THE BEACH BOYS: AN AMERICAN FAMILY on US TV) is slimy enough as the “Head Hunter”.

All in all a worthwhile effort with a film title that really sums up the whole thing.

Dr Kuma’s verdict: Channing should really think about recreating this on stage where it would play better.

3 out of 6 stars

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