Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 12


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,698
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Movie Info

A woman walks a razor's edge between reality and madness in this impressionistic drama written and directed by Robert Altman. Cathryn (Susannah York) is a woman who begins to suspect that her marriage to Hugh (René Auberjonois) is falling apart after receiving a mysterious phone call from a friend who tells her Hugh has been having an affair. Cathryn herself has not been happy with Hugh, and years before she took a lover, Rene (Marcel Bozzuffi), though he died some time ago in a plane crash. Thinking they both need to get away, Hugh takes Cathryn to their house in the country, where Hugh indulges in his hobbies, hunting and photography, and Cathryn works on a book of fantasy tales for children. Before long, Cathryn begins to see apparitions of the late Rene around the house, much to her consternation; while confronting her feelings about the late Rene and the wandering Hugh, Marcel (Hugh Millais), a friend of the couple who makes little secret of his attraction to Cathryn, arrives for a visit, with his daughter Susannah (Cathryn Harrison) in tow. As Rene's appearances become more vivid and Cathryn reaches the end of her tether, she begins to drift deeper into a fantasy world, where it's difficult to tell what is real and what is imagined. Beautifully shot on striking locations in Ireland by Vilmos Zsigmond, Images earned Susannah York an award as Best Actress at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival.

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Critic Reviews for Images

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (7)

  • [Altman] controls things beautifully, proffering credible biographical reasons for her inner disturbances, and borrowing shock effects from the thriller genre to underline the terrifying nature of her predicament.

    Jan 14, 2019 | Full Review…
  • "Image" is not remotely an example of hack work - it's an example of a conceptual failure.

    Jan 14, 2019 | Full Review…
  • It looks complicated, but it's just confused (1972).

    Jan 14, 2019 | Full Review…
  • This clanging, pretentious, tricked-up exercise, is almost a model of how not to dramatize the plight of a schizoid.

    Jan 14, 2019 | Full Review…
  • It is, first of all, an intelligently constructed and spectacularly well-photographed film. We admire its gifts even though they tend not to involve us.

    Apr 29, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Images is not only a portrait of a woman's mental breakdown (like Altman's earlier That Cold Day in the Park), but also a schizophrenic study of the creative process itself

    Mar 19, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Images

  • Jun 29, 2013
    Susannah York is stellar but the film is very odd.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Apr 29, 2011
    I have a lot of trouble with films featuring unreliable narrators. While I understand that films about a character with a frayed sense of reality need to be as chaotic and fractured as their psyche, they tend to alienate me emotionally. Robert Altman's "Images" does those things, of course, but what makes this a step above similarly themed films like, "Persona," "Black Swan" or "The Double Life of Veronique," is that it's rather subtle. Films featuring a character confronting their double are usually fraught with ham-fisted symbolism and overly obvious motifs. I'm not saying "Images" is without these things but Altman has the finesse to blend them, more or less, seamlessly into the film. With the help of fluid cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond, a dynamic and precise Susannah York and a haunting score by John Williams, "Images" is able to transcend the normal pitfalls of this microcosm of a genre and remain a serious piece of artistic expression.
    Steven C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 30, 2010
    Difficult to get into. You don't really get to know the main character, which made it difficult for me to connect with her. I missed context. What's her story? But when I was halfway through that didn't bother me anymore. The line between reality and her hallucinations become increasingly thin and confusing, you're just waiting for something to go terribly wrong. A large part of the movie is shot in a beautiful location. It adds to the mystery and surrealism.
    Saskia D Super Reviewer
  • Sep 19, 2010
    Not your typical Robert Altman picture. It's pretty grim with no soul bearings since it's a psychological thriler but it does have an interesting character played by Susannah York. The picture doesn't even have the overlapping dialogue Altman is known for but it's not really needed since he is more interested in what's real and what isn't. "Images" is one of those love and hate pictures I admired and frustratingly dislike.
    Brian R Super Reviewer

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