The Moderns (1988)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this witty comedy set in 1920s Paris, an art forger becomes involved with a complicated scheme involving several of his phony masterpieces. Things spin out of control, however, when the fakes are unknowingly sold to a wealthy businessman -- who also happens to be married to the forger's ex-wife.
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Nelson Entertainment

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Keith Carradine
as Nick Hart
Linda Fiorentino
as Rachel Stone
John Lone
as Bertram Stone
Wallace Shawn
as Oiseau
Geneviève Bujold
as Libby Valentin
Geraldine Chaplin
as Nathalie de Ville
Kevin J. O'Connor
as Ernest Hemingway
CharlElie Couture
as L'Evidence
Elsa Raven
as Gertrude Stein
Ali Giron
as Alice B. Toklas
Gailard Sartain
as New York Critic
Michael Wilson
as Surrealist Poet
Paul Buissonneau
as Alexandre
Lenie Scoffie
as Femme de Lettres
Reynald Bouchard
as Chapelle
Pierre Chagnon
as Stone's Bodyguard #1
Ranee Lee
as Black Chanteuse
David Stein
as Critic
Bob Gould
as Blackie
Marthe Turgeon
as Proprietress
Harry Hill
as Mr. Brown
Brooke Smith
as Abigail
Timothy Webber
as Stone's Business Associate
Danielle Schneider
as Fille de Nuit
Hubert Loiselle
as Art Critic
Beverley Murray
as Eve (Group Montparno)
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Critic Reviews for The Moderns

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (5)

A movie that makes an afternoon with Gertrude and Alice more boring than a faculty tea.

Full Review… | August 4, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

It takes place at that enchanted moment in Paris when the Lost Generation created itself and then proceeded to create, promote, fabricate and publicize modern literature, art, music and attitudes.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Rudolph's weaknesses pale before the film's overriding textures: Toyomichi Kurita's cinematography exquisitely crosses color with sepia and blacks and whites.

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

Everything is ersatz, even the surrealism in Alan Rudolph's 10th movie.

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

A casually absurd, surprisingly playful look into the lives of American expatriates --Gertrude Stein's famous "lost generation" -- in post-World War I Paris.

Full Review… | April 25, 2007
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Fascinating film about painters in 1920's Paris

December 13, 2004
Classic Film and Television

Audience Reviews for The Moderns


Made in 1988, this to me is a pretentious attempt at being a 1920's classic. Not only slow but will be for many boring. If it were not for the setting in art filled Paris where we are introduced to all sorts of literary icons.... Hemingway for one, this one with Keith Carridine in the lead as a starving artist could be better. The soundtrack is interesting with period operas, etc. Nick Hart (Keith Carradine) is an expatriate American artist living in Paris among some of the great artists and writers of the time, including Ernest Hemingway (Kevin J. O'Connor), Gertrude Stein (Elsa Raven), and Alice B. Toklas (Ali Giron). Carridine and everyone here is being directed to be some noir classic romance drama. Trenchcoats, hats, the cars and costuming all take us to expatriate France set in the roaring twenties. As a starving but intelligent artist, Carridine is persuaded to copy great art, producing fakes. Not sure exactly what the title actually refers to, The Moderns could be indicative of the creative, artistic minds portrayed in the film. They all mingle together in bars, making wry comments. Carridine gets involved again with his ex-wife and a jealous writer who his current wife. A boxing match is scheduled between the artist and jealous celebrity husband. Having been injured by a brawl with the husband's goons, the injury has implications for the fighting match. Young Hemingway is portrayed as an eternal drunk yet friend of Carridine. Hemingway is given a string of so-called profound lines that usually don't make much sense. note: Kieth Carridine would make a resonable facimile of Fred Astaire someday as the resemblance is close. He would have to dance, of course and that would be a problem. American film critic, Roger Ebert, in his review stated that The Moderns is: "sort of a source study for the Paris of Ernest Hemingway in the 1920s; it's a movie about the raw material he shaped into The Sun Also Rises and A Moveable Feast, and it also includes raw material for books by Gertrude Stein, Malcolm Cowley and Clifford Irving." By Rita Kempley Washington Post Staff Writer April 30, 1988 "The Moderns" is a languid, liars' film, rich with red lipstick and faux Cézanne. Everything is ersatz, even the surrealism in Alan Rudolph's 10th movie, a lingering sendup of cafe' society in the 1920s, of Americans in Paris, of hot air strong as cognac fumes." See it for yourself, it could be fascinating, or at least interesting. Cast Genevieve Bujold (veteran actress, best known in Obscession) Geraldine Chaplin Keith Carradine (the artist) Linda Fiorentino John Lone Michael Rudder Wallace Shaw Crew Director: Alan Rudolph Screenplay: Alan Randolph Screenplay: Jon Bradshaw Composer: Mark Isham Cinematographer: Toyomichi Kurita Costume Designer: Renee April Production Designer: Steven Legler Editor: Debra T. Smith Editor: Scott Brock Set Decorator : Jean Baptiste Tard Associate Producer: Stuart M. Besser Co-Producer : David Blocker Producer: David Blocker Executive Producer: Shep Gordon Co-Producer : Carolyn Pfeiffer Producer: Carolyn Pfeiffer

monsieur rick
monsieur rick

The plot of the film ostensibly concerns love, heartbreak, money problems, the meaning of art, alcoholism and finding one's identity. But in the film, everything is ersatz, even the surrealism.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

This is a fairly enjoyable tale set in the art world of 1920s Paris. The look of the film and the mood it creates are the most important things; far more important than the enjoyable, yet slow-moving plotline. It is highly imaginative and its representation of icons such as Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein add an extra dimension to the film. The only true weak points are some of the dialogues between the two leads; it is sometimes out of place and almost too 'modern'! All the performances are good but John Lone and Keith Carradine are especially suited to their parts.

Cassandra Maples
Cassandra Maples

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