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SLIDING DOORS

SYNOPSIS:
Helen (Gwyneth Paltrow), a London PR hot shot is suddenly fired from her job. On her miserable way home, she misses the tube, is mugged, and tries rebuilding her life by working as a waitress and trying to come to terms with the possibility that her live-in lover (John Lynch) is not the philanderer she suspects. But what if she'd got on that train? Her life could be quite different? In this scenario, Helen meets a witty, Scottish guy (John Hannah) on the train, who loves to sprout Monty Python, and in fact DOES discover her boyfriend in bed with an ex-flame (Jeanne Tripplehorn), thus her own life begins rebuilding in a different direction, both professionally and personally, until fate invokes tragedy on both Helens, simultaneously, with different conclusions.

"Beguiling and seductive, Sliding Doors is a cinematic jewel: an intelligent, thought provoking film that defies classification. Peter Howitt’s intriguing concept is beautifully brought to the screen by faultless execution and seamless integration. The film canvases fate, coincidence, chance, circumstance and premonitions - all fascinating issues in themselves. The philosophical questions raised in the chance split-second occurrences in our lives are ones which confront us all every day. The film divides like a fork in the road of life, smoothly and effortless compelling and engaging in the two ensuing stories. A bright star shining throughout, Gwyneth Paltrow delivers screen magic, captivating every nuance of her very full and complete character. At times, her facial features are reminiscent of a young waif-like Mia Farrow. Enigmatic and engaging with a perfect London accent, her performance makes us want to jump aboard the emotional rollercoaster with her. The other leads are terrific, especially John Hannah, who complements Paltrow perfectly. I worry only about John Lynch’s character, so unappealing that his relationship with Helen doesn’t ring true. Beautifully structured and deliciously tantalising, Sliding Doors is a special film, whose complexities and intrigue intensify long after the film has finished. Nostalgic, reminiscent, but never overtly sentimental, the production values are tops, with focused direction and a music soundtrack that complements the mood."
Louise Keller

"No-one can ever know in advance how a film is going to turn out. It often turns on small things; a bit of luck on the shoot, a single idea that illuminates some part of the script, or a single casting decision. In this case, I think Howitt has been blessed with all these things falling into place for him. This is not to detract from his writing, the beginning without which none of it would have happened. The film takes us on two journeys, and makes them both feel real, giving us a bitter sweet experience and the realisation that our lives can go in any direction at any time, and it hardly matters. Chance rules, OK."
Andrew L. Urban

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

SLIDING DOORS (M)
(US/UK)

CAST: Gwyneth Paltrow, John Hannah, John Lynch, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Zara Turner, Douglas McFerran, Paul Brightwell, Nina Young, Virginia McKenna

DIRECTOR: Peter Howitt

PRODUCER: Sydney Pollack, Philippa Braithwaite, William Horberg

SCRIPT: Peter Howitt

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Remi Adefarasin

EDITOR: John Smith

MUSIC: David Hirschfelder

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Maria Djurkovic

RUNNING TIME: 108 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 30, 1998

VIDEO RELEASE: July 9, 1999

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: CIC VIDEO

RRP: $24.95







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