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Flesh and Bone

4.0 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews


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Editorial Reviews

The darkest of the filmic trilogy that unites husband and wife Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan, "Flesh and Bone" is a grimly affecting tale of two lonely lives, one unexpectedly, dramatically affected by the other. Quaid is the tragic Arlis, condemned to running away from memories of his horrific childhood. His is a life on the road, replenishing vending machines including one with a live chicken and predictions of the future. Ryan's unhappily wed Kay fears a past that Arlis is inextricably tied to. Still, they're drawn to each other. Then Arlis's father, the amoral Roy (an appropriately frightening James Caan), shows up and interferes and intervenes. Joining Roy is the benignly malevolent Ginnie (a sharp Gwyneth Paltrow in her first significant role). The film is written and directed by underused Steve Kloves, who wrote the lovely "Racing with the Moon", and who wrote and directed "The Fabulous Baker Boys".\n For "Flesh", Ryan is at her throaty, dark best, and Quaid's pain is etched on his face. The couple works very well together in this film, their first as a married couple ("Innerspace" and "D.O.A." were made pre-nup). It's not the romantic light comedy both Quaid and Ryan had later success with, but it's a very effective and compelling film, despite its devastating tale. "--N.F. Mendoza"

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: James Caan, Dennis Quaid, Gwyneth Paltrow, Meg Ryan, Betsy Brantley
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • 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: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: April 16, 2002
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005Y1UW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,240 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Flesh and Bone" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
This film is one of my favorites. The story is suspenseful and well plotted. The theme is universal, but if you're not from small-town western Oklahoma or western Texas, or have not spent extended time there, you may not fully appreciate what a fabulous job Kloves (a native of Austin TX) has done in this film -- and how underappreciated the film is. It is a true sleeper. Culturally, this movie is the Southwestern equivalent of a film about Native Americans written and directed by a Native American. Speaking as a native of the Southwest, it was so refreshing to see a movie set in the rural Southwest that broke from the stale stereotype of the typical "western" law & order, yahoo, or save the ranch movies --one that tells a compelling and suspenseful personal story in a culturally authentic manner, without a single sheriff in sight. "Blood" or family ties are sacrosanct in this region of the country, so the theme is very appropriate to the cultural context while remaining of interest to most viewers. Ryan's, & Cann's performances are respectable, but not exceptionally authentic culturally. I agree with the earlier critique of Ryan's portrayal, but she nevertheless does a pretty good job for a girl from Connecticut-- one that is more regionally authentic than Cann's! This was the first film I saw Paltrow in, and she played her jaded character so convincingly (Paltrow's character is a wandering con artist from parts unknown -- obviously not from the Southwest) that it took time to view her differently in later films.Read more ›
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Format: VHS Tape
The ending of this fine film is hardly "senseless." The film is a refutation of biological determinism, although it could also be used to refute environmental determinism. After having been told by his evil father (James Caan) that they have the same bloodline--implying that this must make his son Arlis (Dennis Quaid) evil, just like his father--Arlis buys into this claptrap. "If you're born to it" and "It's not in your blood" are two of Arlis' typical comments. But at the end, when he says, "It's NOTHING--only BLOOD," he has finally realized that we all have free will and that we make our own decisions, bloodline or no bloodline. This film is truly Dostoevskian, PARTICULARLY the ending, which is as good a compliment as you can pay to any film. The great Russian novelist also saw the horrible danger in the determinist credo. Give this film 5 stars and send "A Viewer from Texas" back to school.
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Format: VHS Tape
No one is less of a Meg Ryan fan than I. She is, entirely too cutsie for my taste. Not that she's bad to look at mind you. But in this film she is about as sexy, real, and sympathetic as possible. Her performance was perfect for the part.
Dennis Quaid gives his finest performance ever as the tormented son of James Caan.
It's pretty easy to see where the film is headed fairly early in the picture but it's so well acted and directed that it's well worth the price of admission. The film is extremely character driven including an incredibly cheap yet sexy Gwyneth Paltrow.
The movie has much to say about relationships, loyalty, selfishness and the price paid because of them.
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Format: VHS Tape
There is a thin line that movies like Flesh and Bone walk, its story line suggests an overwrought film, with loud scenery chewing acting and flashy camera work. This could have easily turned into a pointless variation on the pointless U-Turn. A credit then to director Steve Klove and his cinamatagropher Philippe Rousselot for creating a completely original beast. You may not know it from a plot description, but you will never see another film quite like this one.
In the film's arresting opening scene an expressionless grim looking boy stands outside a family's house late at night. He doesn't say a word except that he's lost. They let him in, and decide to let him stay overnight. But that's not all there is to it, the boy is actually working with his father on a scheme they've perfected hundreds of times before, where he waits till the family is asleep and opens the door to his father to come in and rob the place. Something goes terribly wrong that night, but the events that transpire in this scene will haunt every character in this film. This brilliant opening sequence grabs the veiwer's attention, and makes the slow burning tense plot that follows all the more mysterious.
Dennis Quaid stars as Arliss, a man who isn't much of a talker, "You're the best listener I've ever met" Kay Davies (Meg Ryan) tells him when they first meet. "Depends on who's talking" he replies. As events unfold, with a touch if a supernatural element we come to fully comprehend why he so unenthusiastic about life. "I'm a creature of habit" he says at one point, and by then we know exactly why he feels breaking established habits can be deadly.
The dialogue in this film, which is written by the director, literally stings.
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