MORNING AFTER, THE: DVD
Alex (Jane Fonda) is a hard-drinking Hollywood has-been actress, who wakes up one morning to find a dead man in bed with her. Trouble is, she can't remember what happened the night before and when she calls her estranged husband Jackie (Raul Julia), he advises her to go to the police. But she panics and makes a run for it - right into the battered convertible of washed-up former cop Turner Kendall (Jeff Bridges). Meanwhile the body reappears in her apartment, making Alex begin to question her sanity.
Review by Louise Keller:
Here's a great yarn from Sidney Lumet, convincingly played out by the winning combination of Jane Fonda and Jeff Bridges. Like a good page turner, this melodramatic mystery thriller keeps us guessing right until the very end. It's a murder mystery, character drama and unusual romance all rolled into one. James Cresson's screenplay is economical as it allows Lumet to convey his cinematic language. I enjoyed it every bit as much as when I first saw the film when it was released; it hasn't dated one little bit.
The opening scene is a real attention grabber. The camera pans from the television set across a darkened room past a man lying in bed and rests on a woman, who begins to stir. She clearly does not know where she is, but is fraught with terror as she sees the blood - first on her hands, then on the sheets. 'What the f***?' she exclaims, when she realises he is dead. We quickly understand she has a serious drinking problem as we realise she does not remember the past events. Everything goes wrong as she tries to leave Los Angeles, but somehow finds herself in a beat-up car with Turner Kendall (Jeff Bridges), an ex-cop who likes 'to repair stuff - or whatever needs it'. The film then focuses on the relationship between Alex and Turner. He has a twisted view of the world; she has 100 gallons of cheap wine, two frozen tacos in the icebox and six jars of mayonnaise.
Looking fabulous, Fonda gives a convincing and complex performance as the vulnerable Alex, who finds it hard to trust anyone, while Bridges is terrific as her Mr Fix It. When Alex kisses Turner, she clings to him with every ounce of desperation she is feeling. Raul Julia is perfectly cast as Alex's stylish and ambitious hairdresser ex-husband and there are appealing intimacies between the two. There is enough business between the characters to allow us enjoy getting to know them. The twists and final scenes are thrilling, and we feel well satisfied by the conclusion. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Published June 12, 2008
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MORNING AFTER, THE: DVD (M)
CAST: Jane Fonda, Jeff Bridges, Raul Julia, Diane Salinger, Richard Foronjy, Geoffrey Scott
PRODUCER: Bruce Gilbert
DIRECTOR: Sidney Lumet
SCRIPT: James Cresson
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Andrzej Bartkowiak
EDITOR: Joel Goodman
MUSIC: Paul Chihara
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Albert Brenner
RUNNING TIME: 103 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES: None
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video
DVD RELEASE: June 2, 2008