sex, lies, and videotape (1989)

2015 #147
Steven Soderbergh | 100 mins | streaming (HD) | 1.85:1 | USA / English | 18 / R

Four acquaintances partake in duplicitous relationships and candid sexual discourse in writer-director Steven Soderbergh’s debut drama.

All four actors are good, covering every base on the spectrum of sexual openness, but, at the two extremes, James Spader and Andie MacDowell are excellent. They get the wealth of the material, the latter as a repressed, neurotic housewife, the former as an oddball whose truth obsession makes him both the strangest and most idyllic character.

26 years on, our world and attitudes have changed plenty — there are now whole websites dedicated to Spader’s weird, private obsession — but this is still strikingly frank.

5 out of 5

This drabble review is part of the 100 Films Advent Calendar 2015. Read more here.

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