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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

Up Close & Personal
Directed by Jon Avnet
Buena Vista Home Entertainment 03/96 DVD/VHS Feature Film
PG-13 - brief strong language, some sensuality, depictions of violence

Tally Atwater (Michelle Pfeiffer) is a Nevada waitress who has dreams of becoming a network anchor, lands a job as a gofer at a Miami television station. When Warren Justice (Robert Redford), the news director, sees that she "eats the lens," he gives her a shot at reporting.

This one-time journalistic crusader with a national following becomes Tally's mentor, trying to help her go beyond the sound-bite to the truth of a story. When a hot-shot agent (Joe Mantegna) gets her a better job in Philadelphia, Warren arrives to help pull her out of a slump precipitated by a competitor (Stockard Channing). Their love affair blossoms into marriage.

Tally establishes network credentials by courageously reporting inside a prison during a riot. Warren seizes the moment to reclaim his calling as a journalist on an assignment to Panama.

Up Close & Personal is a thought-provoking love story directed by Jon Avnet and written by Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne. Although there is a deep sexual attraction between Tally and Warren, the real source of their love is a mutual desire to help the other fulfill his or her calling. They are soulmates willing to do whatever it takes to enable the other to shine.

 

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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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