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Simpatico


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Product Details

  • Actors: Nick Nolte, Jeff Bridges, Sharon Stone, Catherine Keener, Albert Finney
  • Directors: Matthew Warchus
  • Writers: Matthew Warchus, David Nicholls, Sam Shepard
  • Producers: Chuck Binder, Dan Lupovitz, Greg Shapiro, Jean-François Fonlupt
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 22, 2000
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0780631293
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,913 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Simpatico" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Simpatico

Amazon.com

Topnotch casting fails to conceal a pointlessly tortuous and essentially empty Sam Shepard conceit; it's basically a rehash of themes from better Shepard plays about guilty secrets buried in the past. In this 1999 movie, Jeff Bridges plays Lyle, a slick Kentucky horse breeder about to make a career-topping sale of a prospective Derby winner (the title character, as it were). Lyle's youthful crony, Vinnie (Nick Nolte at his scuzziest), phones in from Rancho Cucamonga, California, with a blackmail threat--he'll reveal their shared secret unless Lyle helps him sort out his goofy love life. Lyle drops everything and heads west; Vinnie promptly steals Lyle's car, and essentially his identity, and drives east. Lyle's well-oiled existence starts coming apart; Vinnie meanwhile cleans up his act and struts his stuff among the racing set. Oh, the irony of it all.

In his filmmaking debut, British theater director Matthew Warchus strains to "cinematize" the play. This mostly means relentless crosscutting, with not only Lyle's and Vinnie's journeys being overlapped, but also fragmentary flashbacks in which the teenage Lyle, Vinnie, and Lyle's haunted wife (Sharon Stone) are played by Liam Waite, Shawn Hatosy, and Kimberly Williams. Only Albert Finney, as a racing official implicated in their old scam, appears in both time frames--with unintentionally grotesque results.

The complicated editing can't conceal that there's nothing complex, or compelling, about the characters' sins. Stone doesn't show up till the third act (a ploy that worked better onstage), and is outshone by the always-intriguing Catherine Keener playing the sweet-natured dim bulb who has lately won Vinnie's heart. Back-to-back Oscar winner John Toll photographed. --Richard T. Jameson

Customer Reviews

I wouldn't really know if people do these kinds of things; I've never done anything like it.
A Customer
Why Nick Nolte, Jeff Bridges, and especially Albert Finney would lend their name to this garbage should be the subject of a book.
D. Vick
The story sputters along after that with all sorts of character development and flashbacks.
"flickjunkie"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 31, 2003
Format: DVD
Summary:
Vincent "Vinny" T. Webb (Nick Nolte; Young Vinnie Webb - Shawn Hatosy) is an alcoholic with a guilty conscience. Years ago he and his best friend, Lyle Carter (Jeff Bridges; Young Lyle Carter - Liam Waite), rigged some horse races with the help of Lyle's now wife, Rosie (Sharon Stone; Young Rosie - Kimberly Williams (I)). But rigging the races isn't what the guilty conscience is from. The racing commissioner (Albert Finney) caught on to what they were doing. So the three friends set him up; Rosie had sex with him while Vinny took pictures. They then used the pictures to get him to keep quiet while they won their final race. After the last race, Rosie took off with Lyle, even though Vinny wanted to marry her.
Vinny has kept the pictures for roughly 20 years as a means of controlling Lyle. Lyle went on to make something of himself, becoming quite wealthy and continuing to participate in horse racing. He even lives in Kentucky now, near the location of the Kentucky Derby. He married Rosie who has developed a love for horses, especially the one the story is named after - Simpatico. Whenever Vinny needs anything, he calls up Lyle and, because Vinny still has the evidence from their crime so many years ago, Lyle has to concede to whatever Vinny wants.
Well, that's all just the backstory, which takes the whole movie to figure out. The movie actually begins when (this is my interpretation) Vinny can't take the guilt anymore and decides to play his hand by giving the pictures to someone (he tries to give them to the racing commissioner to clear his name and to Rosie, but both refuse). To clear the way for him to get them to Rosie he tricks Lyle to fly out to California saying he is in trouble.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 13, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Although both Bridges and Nolte do great with their roles the story itself is confusing because they are constantly flashing back to the past without much detail. My advice don't waste your time or money on this film.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "flickjunkie" on September 6, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This is one of those stories that prove that bankable stars can't save a bad script. The film was a box office disaster, yanked after two weeks in theaters and grossing less than one million dollars. The story, based on a Sam Shepard play, is a character study of characters so totally bereft that it is impossible to care. Vinnie (Nick Nolte), Carter (Jeff Bridges) and Rosie (Sharon Stone) ran a betting scam on horseracing about twenty years ago that included blackmail. Carter is now a successful horse breeder and Rosie is his wife. Vinnie is a broken down drunk who is threatening to expose the scheme for reasons clear only to him.
The story sputters along after that with all sorts of character development and flashbacks. The more we learn about these three, the more we want the movie to end. When it finally does end, the final resolution is so ridiculous and unsatisfying that we are left wondering what the point was.
The acting was up to the standard one might expect, with all three major stars delivering strong performances. However, the story was so irrational and boring that it didn't make a bit of difference.
There is not a lot about the film that is worth recommending. I rated it a 3/10. Unless you are a devotee of one of the three stars, you probably will want to spend your time and money on something more entertaining.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By simon gurney on August 19, 2002
Format: DVD
The main problem here seems to be that the central event in the story, the scam , just isnt interesting, its certainly hard to beleive in the characters and their interrelationship based on this event, from there it just falls apart.
Basically boring and very missable.
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Format: DVD
You would think with such a pedigree of talent (four Oscar nominees), SIMPATICO would come charing out of the gates and knock you over! Beautifully filmed in Kentucky and California, the movie however is merely a cinematic version of one of playwright Sam Shepard's character studies. It's plot is so convoluted and erratic, it's hard to keep up with. And the twists the movie takes, most notably the seeming reversal of the two male characters, it becomes annoying in its duplicity. Credit goes to Albert Finney and Catherine Keener particularly for at least trying to flesh out otherwise cardboard characters. Sharon Stone doesn't show up until the movie's almost over, and we get to see her do her sleazy alcoholic hasbeen role once again. Ditto to Nick Nolte, who seems to have made a career playing scruffy looking nobodies. Even the usually reliable Jeff Bridges gets lost in the muddled film. I don't know what I was expecting, but SIMPATICO doesn't win, place or even show for me.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 29, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This movie is a perfect example why a play should NEVER be made into a movie. I have to say that there have been a few exceptions to the rule, "Steel Magnolias" being one. "Simpatico" with it's stellar cast could have been a good film, but it fell flat in its celuloid face in this BORING snorefest. I could not have cared less about anyone in this jumbled-up mess. Avoid this like the plague.
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By D. Vick on January 28, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Terrible, awful, disgusting. Why Nick Nolte, Jeff Bridges, and especially Albert Finney would lend their name to this garbage should be the subject of a book. I can see Sharon Stone here but not the others. You've been warned. I'd be ashamed to even try and sell it.
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