114 minutes| U.S.A.| 1989| ?Colour| Dolby Stereo| 35mm

This film screened 18th February 2010.

The Bridges boys are cannily cast in this perceptive character drama about a jobbing piano duo on the supper-club circuit, with Beau the steady, serious one in frequent conflict with Jeff, his loose-cannon sibling. Aware that their act is losing its shine, they draft in Michelle Pfeiffer, whose experience has been limited to an escort service but who certainly gets the punters’ attention when she dons a red dress and delivers Makin’ Whoopee from the top of Jeff’s piano. Professional demeanour and personal desires soon become messily intermingled, with writer-director Steve Kloves (who has since spent much of his time adapting Harry Potter for the screen!) using the escalating tensions to examine the perils of emotional shutdown as the parties discover they’re not as invulnerable as they thought. Then-newcomer Pfeiffer was hot news at the time, but Jeff Bridges’ portrait of youthful talent curdling into cynicism is masterly indeed.

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