3 Women

3 Women

DVD - 1977
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In a dusty, under-populated California resort town, Pinky Rose, a naive and impressionable Southern waif begins her life as a nursing home attendent. There, Pinky finds her role model in fellow nurse Millie, a misguided would-be sophisticate and hopeless devotee of sophisticated ladies magazines. But Pinky's hero-worship evolves into something far stranger and more sinister than could be imagined.
Publisher: [United States] : Criterion Collection ; Chicago, Ill. : distributed by Home Vision Entertainment, c1977
ISBN: 9781559409490
Branch Call Number: DVD 791.43 THR NVD
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (124 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in
Alternative Title: Three women


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Feb 26, 2018

This is one of Altman's masterpieces that is frequently overlooked. As others have pointed out, there is usually no middling opinion about this film. Either you love it or hate it. This is probably a film that might hold more appeal for the most diehard Altman fans and those who appreciate experimentation in film. There really isn't a story per se but more like a collection of images and characters. The entire film feels like one big strange dream. Altman admitted to writing this on the fly and is typically the case in his films, he encouraged his actors to ad lib much of their dialogue. The desert southwest backdrop is contrasted with Georgia O'Keefe pastel colors and the bizarre demonic and sexual imagery from the paintings of Janice Rule's character. The bizarre visuals are accentuated by strange and haunting music that never overwhelms the film. Shelly Duvall's character is funny, goofy, lonely, sad and pathetic--her portrayal steals the movie. Robert Altman was a visionary in film making. His absence is sorely missed.

Jan 28, 2018

You know what you're in for some serious art when the spooky atonal intro music just
keeps going on and on. Shelly Duvall is good but overall a self consciously
arty and ham handed indulgence.

Aug 29, 2017

Fantastically unsettling at all times with never a moments' rest to get a grip on what is actually going on. Continual uncertainty til the very end- and even then you're not sure. Once it grabs hold of you you can't take you're eyes off of it. Altman does an excellent job keeping the viewer off balance. The music is ever foreboding, but of what.... Sissy Spacek is really spaced-out in this film. Shelley Duval does an excellent job as a someone who no one listens to- in her mind she is always the center of attention- and the pool paintings are always creeping around somewhere. It really cannot be described- definitely a masterpiece though- just not sure what kind....

Aug 21, 2017

3 Women is definitely a slow burn of a movie, but it's also amazing how well it taps into and visualizes the subconscious. Nothing is spelled out by Altman, who wants the audience to interpret the film's meaning for themselves.
One of my favorite Robert Altman films.

May 12, 2016

The three women in this film were all great. Spacek is so naive and charming, Duvall's improv-ed and ceaseless chatter is hilarious, and Rule's acting tells you exactly how she's feeling, even if she doesn't say much through the whole movie. The score made me feel anxious, though there was never a big shocking moment like I expected. Instead, the characters gradually change roles and relationships so that by the end, everyone is different. Duvall and Spacek's characters moved to SoCal to escape TX, but at the end of the film, find themselves in what feels like a very Texas situation. The movie is not neat and tidy, there are things left unanswered at the end, but there is no need to answer them, the journey to the end is fascinating and satisfying enough.

Jun 30, 2015

Robert Altman's one of kind career spanned five decades, dozens of films, and multiple genres, including westerns, musicals, period pieces, film noir, and biopics. "Nashville" and "MASH" tend to define his 70s output, but he was one of the most prolific of the new wave of American directors and has perhaps the most idiosyncratic and unpredictable oeuvres of any filmmaker of the period. 1977's "3 Women" ranks as one of his oddest films and, indeed, one of the strangest films of the 70s. Inspired both by Altman's dreams and Bergman's inscrutable art house film "Persona," "3 Women" casts two of the decades most striking actresses, Sissy Spacek and frequent Altman star Shelley Duvall. Spacek is fragile and always on the verge of cracking, while Duvall's skinny frame and wide eyes made her a perfect choice for Olive Oyl in Altman's live action film of "Popeye." The plot is incidental and it defies any categorization, but it has the foreboding atmosphere and slow creep of a psychological horror movie, something it shares with Todd Haynes's equally unsettling "Safe." It's certainly not for all tastes, but I think fans of Altman and of left field cinema will find a lot to, if not like exactly, at least appreciate and think about.

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