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13 Conversations About One Thing

4.2 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Director Jill Sprecher's critically-acclaimed film assembles an all-star, ensemble cast in a fresh and whimsical look at the invisible, everyday and destiny-shaping miracles that we've come to call "fate." In five distinct New York tales, the lives of seemingly disparate characters - a public defender (Matthew McConaughey, Reign of Fire) whose life suddenly mirrors that of the criminals he prosecutes, a college professor (John Turturro, Mr. Deeds, Barton Fink) facing a poignant crossroads, an envious businessman (Alan Arkin, America's Sweethearts) seeking revenge on a compulsively cheerful co-worker, an optimistic cleaning woman (Clea Duvall, Girl, Interrupted) searching for miracles in theaftermath of a tragic accident and, lastly, a woman (Amy Irving, Traffic) forced to face her husband's infidelity due to an untimely return of a lost wallet - are interwoven to create a touching tapestry that's warmed the hearts of moviegoers and critics across the globe. Playful and poignant, 13 CON

Special Features

  • Digitally Mastered Audio & Anamorphic Video

Product Details

  • Actors: David Connelly, Joseph Siravo, Matthew McConaughey, Frankie Faison, Alan Arkin
  • Directors: Jill Sprecher
  • Producers: Beni Tadd Atoori, Gina Resnick
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 19, 2002
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006L927
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,942 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "13 Conversations About One Thing" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

After directing Clockwatchers, one of the most intelligent and interesting films of the past decade, Jill Sprecher has come out with another gem. 13 Conversations is a fascinating look at the intersecting lives of a group of mostly unhappy New Yorkers. The film has similarities to Short Cuts and Magnolia, suggesting that the lives and destinies of seemingly unconnected people may be linked in some fundamental, perhaps even metaphysical way. It also has the nonlinear structure of films like Pulp Fiction. To its credit, 13 Conversations holds its own with all three of these films and is quite original in its approach. The performances are all very strong, especially Alan Arkin as a cynical manager in an insurance agency and Clea Duvall as a house cleaner with a cheerful outlook until catastrophe strikes. Matthew Mcconaughey and John Turturro are also perfectly cast. The plot (or plots) of 13 Conversations is compelling, but is secondary to the questions it raises about finding meaning and happiness in an often harsh and chaotic world. The tone of the film is often brooding, yet the message is ultimately hopeful. As in Clockwatchers, Jill Sprecher has something very significant to say about life in these times.
Comment 45 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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In spite of its seemingly depressing nature I tremendously enjoyed this movie. I believe it is the issues discussed that were able to touch deep and the quiet, restrained way in which they were portrayed. Another reason would be the beautiful ending that does not say much but leaves you with some hope for human kind...
"Thirteen conversations about one thing" lead to very coherent statements about the human condition. Each viewer, so I believe, will interpret what he saw in a slightly different manner. For me however the message was: reach out for other human beings - they are as lonely as you are; kindness, optimism and "looking at the bright side of things" have a power in spite of all and a kind word or gesture have an affect on other people - cynical as they may be; and most important: happiness is sometimes a vague term and is always better perceived at a later stage....
The movie starts with a scene whose significance will be understood at a much later stage. John Turturro, playing a physics college professor is having dinner with his wife (Amy Irving) and discusses an act of violence that he suffered, trying to analyze the horror of it all and find significance and meaning in what occured. The act itself and its impact on the professor are not clear to the viewers at this stage but will become clear later on. This is the first hint to what will be one of the movie's major themes - one event is able to shake a person down and cause a change. An irreversible change.
The movie brings us five human episodes that are entangled to one strong story.
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If you were asked what the words "happiness" or "fate" meant to you, chances are your answer would be very different from everybody else. Not all the answers to simple or complex questions are the same, as this movie illustrates in a very creative and effective manner. "13 Conversations About One Thing" is a film that examines the daily life of human beings, and just how something so subtle or small can cause a chain reaction of events.
The movie revolves around five New Yorkers who end up getting involved with one another's life in some way. There's the public defender who in a chain of events ends up walking the path of a criminal by covering his tracks. And then there is the bitter business man who can't stand the fact that one of his workers is always happy no matter what. There's the confused college professor who fears of not living life to the fullest after being mugged. There's the happy and enthusiastic cleaning woman who believes miracles happens everyday, but has her worldview drastically changed when she is hospitalized after being hit by a car. And finally, there's the woman who has to deal with the fact that her husband is cheating on her after having his stolen wallet returned. All of this is a setup for a sad, and yet moving film about the everyday events that we overlook from time to time. And how we never really notice even the smallest chain reactions that occur everywhere.
This was a great movie to watch and kept my attention throughout. I do admit that I was confused the first time, being that the movie really isn't told in chronological order, but more set up as little separate stories. After seeing it a second time it really did help me understand more of what was transpiring.
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The "one thing" this provocative 2001 independent film is about is happiness. What does it mean to be happy? And how easily, by just a chance happening, can it be taken away? There's a huge cast here and at least four intersecting stories set in urban New York on streets I recognize. It was written and directed by the sister team of Jill and Karen Sprecher and there's an edgy intelligence to the whole thing that stimulated my thinking about my own life.
The cast is huge and includes Matthew McConaughy, John Turtoro, Amy Irving, Clea DuVall and Alan Arkin. They all give outstanding performance and get deeply into their characterizations. There's a successful attorney who hurts someone in a hit and run accident and tortures himself with regrets. There's a college professor who hates the routine of his life and thinks that an affair will change things. There's a manager at an insurance company with personal problems who fires an employee just because of the employee's positive outlook on life. There's the victim of an accident who's a happy person until she's randomly struck down. There's the wife who has it all but whose marriage has failed.
The film is more than a sum total of the stories though. It's a mood that's set that lingers long after I turned off the DVD. It's a rather uncomfortable film to watch because it forces us to realize how our moments of happiness depend on random events beyond our control. I recommend it for the introspective only as it certainly doesn't leave the viewer smiling at the end. Personally, though, I loved it.
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