Insignificance (1985) - Rotten Tomatoes

Insignificance (1985)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Using four famous but unnamed individuals to symbolize a notorious era in American politics, as well as to explore the nature of despair, director Nicolas Roeg has created an intriguing drama. Based on a play by Terry Johnson, the story begins with the blond Theresa Russell as a sex-goddess actress working on a scene over a subway grate, with her skirts billowing out in the updraft. A famous Professor from Princeton with white hair opens his door to the actress, who takes out a few props and goes through her rendition of the theory of relativity. Between her theatrical mode of speech and his world of mathematics, there is a certain entente. Enter the ballplayer who is her husband (Gary Busey), in love but without a clue as to the actress' inner sadness. Throw in the senator from Wisconsin (Tony Curtis) before whose sub-committee on Unamerican Activities the Professor has to appear, and the undercurrent of a societal witch-hunt that ruined many careers in Hollywood, in academics, in sports, and in politics is churned into the story. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovimore
Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Terry Johnson
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 13, 2011


Gary Busey
as Ballplayer
Tony Curtis
as Senator
Michael Emil
as Professor
Will Sampson
as Elevator Attendant
Shinobu Kanai
as Japanese Woman
Ian O'Connell
as Assistant Director
Richard Davidson
as Director of Photogra...
Raynor Scheine
as Autograph Hunter
Lou Hirsch
as Charlie
Joel Cutrara
as Bar Drunk
Raymond J. Barry
as Ballplayer's Father
John Stamford
as Young Ballplayer
Desiree Erasmus
as Prostitute
David Lambert
as Young Professor
Cassie Stuart
as Young Actress
Meachell Dunsmoor
as Actress as a Child
Daniel Benzali
as Theatrical Agent
R.J. Bell
as Theatrical Agent
David Montague
as Young Senator
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Insignificance

Critic Reviews for Insignificance

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (5)

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

an intriguing, but ultimately slight "what if" fantasy

Full Review… | July 13, 2011
Q Network Film Desk

Audience Reviews for Insignificance

I really liked some parts of Insignificance, but there's a forced art house aspect to it that just seems unnecessary and weakens the movie.

Lewis C.

Super Reviewer


I found Nicolas Roeg's "Insignificance" to be extremely interesting. It's an experience that I will need more time to pin down, but it's a philosophical, hallucinatory and intriguing collusion of ideas, acting, writing and directing. The films main thesis is that if everything is relative than everything is without meaning. This is very cool stuff.

Steven Carrier

Super Reviewer

I'm still trying to work out what it all means, but its possible that there isn't a coherent central theme here, other than placing a few of the defining figures of the 50s in one room to see what happens. I found most of it interesting, especially watching the Marylin Monroe character demonstrate the theory of relativity, and while its admittedly confusing I like that its really trying to grasp for the soul of a distinctive American decade.

Alec Barniskis
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

Insignificance Quotes

– Submitted by Bret B (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Bret B (3 years ago)

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