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Amateur
     

Amateur

4.0 1
Director: Hal Hartley

Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Martin Donovan, Elina Löwensohn

 
Hal Hartley's fourth feature is a significant break from the quirky romantic comedy territory of his previous work -- though all of the deadpan idiosyncracies which make him such a singular filmmaker remain intact, here he tries his hand at the thriller genre, a move yielding typically unconventional and innovative results. Amateur stars Hartley mainstay Martin

Overview

Hal Hartley's fourth feature is a significant break from the quirky romantic comedy territory of his previous work -- though all of the deadpan idiosyncracies which make him such a singular filmmaker remain intact, here he tries his hand at the thriller genre, a move yielding typically unconventional and innovative results. Amateur stars Hartley mainstay Martin Donovan as Thomas, an amnesiac who, in the first scenes, wakes up in an alley, badly injured; he stumbles to a nearby coffeeshop where he meets Isabelle (Isabelle Huppert), a former nun and would-be nymphomaniac who now makes her living writing pornographic fiction. She takes him back to her apartment, where in time his past slowly begins to emerge -- a sharp contrast to the sweet, even naive soul that Huppert has befriended, it appears that the old Thomas was in fact a vicious pornographer whose attempted murder was at the hands of his wife, adult film star wife Sofia (Elina Lowensohn). Thomas is also the target of a nefarious European arms merchant whose hired guns are hot on his trail.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
Those expecting Hal Hartley to sell out on his first true foray outside of the drab confines of Long Island's suburbs will be pleasantly surprised to find that Amateur retains the auteur's emphasis on unconventional character pairings, only-in-the-movies plot conceits, and sardonic, self-deprecating good humor. An espionage thriller in outline only, Amateur may present a façade of amnesia, pornography, and gun-running, but underneath it all is Hartley's characteristic obsession with identity, sex, religion, and redemption. This sort of hyper-philosophical character study punctuated by anti-thrills would fall flat were the performers not in line with the filmmaker's skewed universe -- as Hartley would learn with some later efforts -- but thankfully, he's found a cast precision-tuned to the absurd. Working for the first time with the director, Isabelle Huppert seems born to deliver Hartley's intentionally stilted, flat dialogue, and Hartley regular Martin Donovan may very well be the only actor who could make a man with a despicable past so believably sweet. Populating the sidelines are indie luminaries the likes of Parker Posey, Damian Young, Tim Blake Nelson, and Dwight Ewell, rounding out Hartley's most confident -- albeit subversive -- brush with mainstream success.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/11/2003
UPC:
0043396009813
Original Release:
1994
Rating:
R
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Surround]
Time:
1:41:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Making-of featurette; Bonus trailers; Interactive menus; Scene selections

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Isabelle Huppert Isabelle
Martin Donovan Thomas
Elina Löwensohn Sofia
Damian Young Edward
Chuck Montgomery Jan
David Simonds Kurt
Pamela Stewart Officer Melville
Erica Gimpel Irate Woman
Terry Alexander Frank, the Cook
Holt McCallany Usher
Michael Imperioli Doorman at Club
Angel Caban Detective
Emmanuel Xuereb Bartender
David Greenspan George, the Pornographer
Parker Posey Girl Squatter
Dwight Ewell Boy Squatter
Currie Graham Video Store Clerk
Jamie Harrold Pizza Guy
James McCauley Policeman
David Troup Guard
Tim Blake Nelson Young Detective
Michael Gaston Sharpshooter
Paul Schulze Cop Who Shoots Thomas

Technical Credits
Hal Hartley Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Jennifer Baime Set Decoration/Design
Jerome Brownstein Executive Producer
Judy Chin Makeup
Christopher Goode Production Manager
Steve Hamilton Editor
Ted Hope Producer
Billy Hopkins Casting
Greg Jacobs Asst. Director
Lidsay Law Executive Producer
Yves Marmion Executive Producer
Scott Meek Executive Producer
Jeff Pullman Sound/Sound Designer
Ned Rifle Score Composer
Steve Rosenzweig Production Designer
Suzanne Smith Casting
Michael Spiller Cinematographer
Amy Tapper Set Decoration/Design
Jeffrey M. Taylor Score Composer
Ginger Tougas Art Director
Alexandra Welker Costumes/Costume Designer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start [3:21]
2. Thomas Awakens [1:08]
3. Isabelle at Work [2:49]
4. Hunger & Cigarettes [3:17]
5. In Isabelle's Apartment [3:39]
6. Sofia [1:49]
7. A Nymphomaniac Who's Never Had Sex [4:55]
8. "You Talk in Your Sleep" [2:39]
9. Edward & Thomas' Wife [6:00]
10. Calling Mr. Jacques [3:49]
11. At Grand Central Station [4:35]
12. George the Pornographer [2:42]
13. "The Odyssey" & "Chicks" [2:05]
14. Interrogating Edward [5:47]
15. At the Video Store [1:05]
16. Reviving Edward [1:43]
17. Watching "Gang Rape" [5:14]
18. In Sofia's Apartment [6:01]
19. Interrogating Sofia [3:28]
20. Kurt Drops Out of the Picture [3:52]
21. At a Roadside Diner [5:33]
22. Filling in Some of the Blanks [3:11]
23. A Troubled Mental Case [3:09]
24. Sofia Finally Answers the Phone [4:53]
25. Shootout [1:56]
26. At the Concert [2:53]
27. "I AM Sorry" [3:41]
28. Shooting the Wrong Man [5:26]

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Amateur 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie was interesting, adventurous, and despite the mention of porn, not at all sleazy-a very tasteful way of a film to show how 3 very different try to redeem themselves from their awful lives--isabelle the former nun who writes erotic fiction tries to save thomas, a vicious pornographer who loses his memory after being thrown out the window and since losing his memory, he regrets what he has done then there is sophia the porn star and wife of thomas who wants to change her ways--as all 3 people come together, because of their so called former lives, pay for what they have done under sad consequences and strangely clean their own slates as well