Projections - Movie Reviews

Full Frontal

Full Frontal

In Full Frontal, Steven Soderbergh directs Julia Roberts for a third time, but the A-list director goes back to his Sex, Lies, and Videotape roots instead of something more sizable from Hollywood like recent smashes Oceans 11 and Erin Brockovich.

Less than three weeks is what it took to make this very low-budget film shot using digital cameras.  In a sense, Full Frontal gets down and dirty without the typical entertainment that mainstream audiences expect while utilizing today's equipment in personalizing Soderbergh's  independent spirit.

The director wrote the screenplay with newcomer Coleman Hough but it doesn't really provide as much emotional detachment as it might read off the written page.  Similar to Mike Figgis' Time Code, Los Angeles is the setting to watch seven characters during one day.

Francesca, Roberts in close-cropped hair, is an actress in a film portraying a meek reporter interviewing a celebrity.  That film is shot traditionally while the off-screen stuff is digitally reproduced on video just like Soderbergh's acclaimed debut, as well as recent fare ranging from The Blair Witch Project to The Anniversary Party.

Besides the newly married Roberts, the other big star of Full Frontal is David Duchovny as Gus, the movie's producer.  David Hyde Pierce and Catherine Keener (Lovely & Amazing) are magazine scribe Carl and corporate exec Lee, whose marriage is being undone by an affair.  They put feeling into their roles which are in tune with the fine line that Roberts and Blair Underwood thread into the essence of a show biz professional.

Add to the mix Linda (Mary McCormack), Lee's sister, a massage therapist at a hotel who brings out a firm response from Gus during her work as Duchovny does the most with his key moment.  Full Frontal even works in the theater with Hitler and his therapist and Nicky Katt is unexpectedly funny as the Fuhrer.

Things come together drastically near the conclusion of Soderbergh's most experimental product to date where the ship-shod storytelling doesn't benefit the performers joined in reality and the make-believe.

Full Frontal

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