The Belly of an Architect (1987)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

American architect Stourley Kracklite (Brian Dennehy) comes with his young wife Louisa (Chloe Webb) to Rome to supervise an exhibition devoted to Etienne-Louis Boullée, a French architect of the 18th century. Suffering from severe abdominal pains, Stourley doesn't pay much attention to his pregnant wife, and she finds consolation in the arms of suave Caspasian Speckler (Lambert Wilson). Built from rigidly symmetrical images, the film has quite an unusual subject: the belly -- both the sick one of the architect and the pregnant one of his wife, the rounded forms alluding to the spherical constructions designed by Boullée, the architect whose visionary projects seldom materialized. Beautifully shot on location in Rome, this ironic fable wittily examines the issues of artistic creativity.
Comedy , Drama , Special Interest
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Brian Dennehy
as Stourley Kracklite
Chloe Webb
as Louisa Kracklite
Lambert Wilson
as Caspasian Speckler
Sergio Fantoni
as Io Speckler
Vanni Corbellini
as Frederico
Stefania Casini
as Flavia Speckler
Alfredo Varelli
as Julio Ficcone
Rita Furlan
as Violinist
Marino Masé
as Trettorio
Marne Maitland
as Battistino
Rate Furlan
as Violinist
Julian Jenkins
as Old Doctor
Riccardo Ussani
as Little Boy
Stefano Gragnani
as The Nose Man
Andrea Prodan
as Young Doctor
Fabio Sartor
as Policeman
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Critic Reviews for The Belly of an Architect

All Critics (11)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

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Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

November 30, 2007

Dennehy achieves Brando-esque emotional power.

Full Review… | April 8, 2007

Audience Reviews for The Belly of an Architect

(***): [img][/img] Another strange one from Greenaway. Intriguing throughout.


An awful title about a failing marriage, jealousy in modern Rome. I suppose this passes for engrossing entertainment but I was easily distracted. Brian Dennehy does a great job playing a jealous and ill husband who finds his exhibition taken from him. A quite depressing but at times moving film. Well made no doubt in every respect as it sinks into deep thoughts by the architect. Not sure if this could sell a lot of tickets in 1987, but I suspect not. Perhaps I should have paid more attention to this one, but its rather slow paced and when the lead actor Dennehy lays on a surgical table to have his intestine inspected by a doctor.... well it sort of "bottomed" out for me. Who writes this stuff? But seriously, the Belly refers to the fact that this 55 year old distinguished architect discovers he has belly cancer, an estranged wife and no exibition far away from his native Chicago. Cast Stephania Cassini Brian Dennehy (the American architect and lead actor) Sergio Fantoni Lambert Wilson Chloe Webb (the attractive wife) Crew Associate Producer: Concitta Airoldi Composer: Glenn Branca Producer: Colin Callender Associate Producer: Dino Di Dionisio Producer: Walter Donohue Director: Peter Greenaway Screenplay: Peter Greenaway Costume Designer: Maurizio Millenotti Composer: Wim Mertens Art Director: Luciana Vedovelli Cinematographer: Sacha Vierny Editor: John Wilson

monsieur rick
monsieur rick

Greenaway's pretensions are always something of a burden, but this time it's far too much to withstand. And Chloe Webb is horrible.

Martin Teller
Martin Teller

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