Six Degrees Of Separation
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This was the first major film breakthrough for Will Smith, proving that he isn't just the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and is a serious actor. Donald Sutherland does a superb job as the stuck-up art dealer who makes millions of dollars but spends more than he can make. However, the real star of the movie is Stockard Channing. Her performance is perfect and her portrayal of Ouisa's self-disovery, realization, and spiritual redemption could not have been better.
SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION has become a part of the American pop conscience (thanks largely to the Kevin Bacon game). However, the movie is much more than a pop cultural reference. It is a movie for the critical movie viewer. It explores questions of great magnitude and in the end, concludes on a comic, rather than tragic, note. It is a small world after all, just six degrees of separation.
I was struck by what seemed the underlying assertion: the deep if unconscious longing of the divided social classes in our country for each other. The deep longing to heal the rift of "separation" -- the wealthy and the disenfranchised -- that the whole class system perpetuates through how people behave, who they associate with, who is considered desirable.
The rich couple and especially Stockard Channing's character of Louisa is caught up in an affluent world of witty pretentious empty existence -- one they are exceedingly skilled at, and are able to milk to good profit. When they meet Paul (Will Smith's character), they are drawn to his directness, his charm -- he is skilled at being relaxed and conversant in their cultured world, yet he lacks the pretense of the elder members or the (satirically exaggerated) spoiled disaffection of the younger members, their children. Both Louisa and her husband (the Donald Sutherland character) relish telling the story - and their friends seem undyingly riveted by it -- and Loisa especially tastes of a richness, a directness, a spark to life that she does not have.
Will Smith's character of Paul also longs for a life he does not have, their Upper East Side life. For the wealth, certainly, but also for the very real values of education, ideas, and that spark of art that is separate from the worldly commercial side of art's buying and selling. The slap that Louisa joyously gives to the hand of God in the Sistine Chapel.
Both sides are profoundly hurt by the rift, the gulf, that exists almost never to be crossed between Paul's ghetto and the Kittridges' beautiful penthouse.Read more ›
My biggest objection is the title music. Somehow that chintzy violin tune clashed with the story big time. The acting is magnificent, the NY shots beautiful, and there are some hilarious moments in the film, like the scene at The Rainbow Room. This movie is a 10, a must-see, a masterpiece. Don't miss it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a bizarre film. I wanted to stop watching because I couldn't understand the lighthearted theme behind the main character (played by Will Smith), but I was intrigued as to how... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Eugene Suh
Never got to see it in the theatre's when it can out. I wanted to see it. I enjoyed it last night after dinner.Published 9 days ago by William Gabel
Disappointed in the overall theme and sad to see this is how Will Smith got started.Published 19 days ago by Leslie
It's monotonous and boring. Only continued watching because of Will Smith personalityPublished 20 days ago by Chinyere Kalu
I've seen it about a half dozen times; I think it's one of, if not the best performances by Will Smith.Published 28 days ago by Nikk G
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