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Searching For Deborah Winger

3.0 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A thought-provoking documentary in which Golden Globe-nominated actress Rosanna Arquette talks to the film industry's most talented and award-winning actresses about the pressures they face as women working in show business. Features Diane Lane, Salma Ha

From the Back Cover

"Searching for Debra Winger" is a thought-provoking documentary in which Golden Globe-nominated actress Rosanna Arquette talks to the film industry's most talented and award-winning actresses about the pressures they face as women working in show business.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Laura Dern, Teri Garr, Whoopi Goldberg, Daryl Hannah, Jennifer Jason Leigh
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: March 2, 2004
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000190776
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,797 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Searching For Deborah Winger" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ed Uyeshima HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 4, 2006
Format: DVD
In 1996's "The First Wives Club", Goldie Hawn, as an aging actress, has a piercingly perceptive line courtesy of screenwriter Robert Harling, "In Hollywood, women only have three ages: babe, district attorney, and 'Driving Miss Daisy'". Actress Rosanna Arquette has decided to explore this unfortunately true perspective in her 2002 documentary where she speaks with thirty-five renowned actresses of varying ages. Even though it's doubtful any of them are facing economic hardship, their dilemmas would still make a worthy subject for a film, but she makes it such an overly personalized odyssey over her own tenuous success as a 43-year old actress and mother that she is unable to provide anything significantly insightful on the topic.

Instead, we are left with a film with some revealing moments but more commonly, a haphazard structure of interview snippets that seem to make the same set of points over and over again - the incessant struggle to find good roles for women past forty, the precarious balance between managing a career and raising a family, and the myopia of profit-minded studio executives interested in what teenage males want to see (at least according to film critic Roger Ebert, the only male interviewed). The problem is that Arquette, as a documentarian, cannot provide much-needed objectivity to her subject, as she repeatedly interjects with her personal experiences when she is not fawning over her subjects.
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Format: VHS Tape
You must see this movie. As all the other reviews state, this documentary about women in Hollywood is first rate.
Often these types of documentaries suffer mightily under the weight of overwhelming ego-angst of the personality who makes the film. However, Ms. Arquette walks that very narrow tightrope about expressing her own feelings and concerns--sharing herself--without overwhelming the viewer. I have always admired her work, but I think this is the best film that I have seen Ms. Arquette in. I cannot praise her work in "Searching" enough.
The interview subjects are also beyond praise: Tracy Ullman talking about "dignity," in a way that is poignant--but still hilarious; Whoopi Goldberg, as the "smart Whoopie," talking about not having fame handed to her on a silver platter (the platter was platinum), and how her career choices affected her family; Martha Plymton describing her roles as being "the friend, with all her lines as questions ("How *are* you?" "Are you going to *out* with him?"); Ally Sheedy describing the main quality for women actors is reduced to "Ef-ability;" Daryl Hannah complaining about having to wear a short, brown haired wig to play the "mother" of a sixteen year old--when Kelly Lynch is the mother of a sixteen year old, and is no where near "mousy" by any definition. Almost all of the insights are terrific. Sharon Stone, in particular, I enjoyed.
But Debra Winger--I cannot be objective about Ms. Winger. She is one of my favorite actors of all time, having the talent to display just the right mix of tenderness, sensuality, spunkiness, and intelligence (emphasis on the latter)--if you don't know what I mean, then I won't be able to explain it to you.
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Format: DVD
Some of the interview subjects in this movie are interesting individuals, others self-absorbed adolescents, but Ms. Arquette is essentially inarticulate and doesn't seem to know how to conduct an intelligent interview. Her interview subjects offer some interesting insights, especially into just how shallow some of them are, but Arquette isn't responsible for drawing them out. The interviewees present their views mostly well in spite of Arquette's ineptitude as an interviewer. Most often her "questions" aren't really questions at all, but rather range from sycophantic exclamations to inane observations about herself.

Avoid this turkey.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Two things about this review: I quibble with none of the criticisms I'm reading here. As a film, a documentary, it's deeply flawed. But where Arquette succeeds is in getting 35 sensitive, articulate, introspective women to talk and think and report about issues that matter so very much to women in Western culture. And that makes this film well worth watching and discussing.

Consider who we're hearing from. Featured are many of the actresses whose experiences and performances have recently shaped how our culture experiences and values women - how it celebrates them (physicality, vulnerability, grace, sacrifice) - and how it devalues and limits them. Acting requires the ability to express, distill and represent, so what is captured (yes, inexpertly!) is filled with emotional depth, truth, and insight.

I don't need this film to be a perfect example of filmmaking or editing. In fact, its flaws are deeply interesting and relevant to the study. It's interesting to hear the actresses greet one another with validation on how they look, especially older actresses.

I've watched the film several times, taking away new insights each time.
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