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Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Set in the city of Montreal, Alan Rudolph's romantic comedy-drama Afterglow paints a wryly comic portrait of two modern marriages drifting toward the rocks. (Sony Pictures Classics)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Romantic comedies usually strike one or two moods, but in Afterglow, the writer-director Alan Rudolph runs through rainbows of feeling in a single scene.
  2. 80
    Afterglow gets off to a weak start—and it's occasionally hampered by stilted dialogue and cutesy conceits; Nolte's character is named Lucky Mann—but it is nevertheless a strong, frequently touching film that benefits from a pair of brilliant performances by Nolte and Christie.
  3. 80
    It's a first-rate chamber piece for actors, but Julie Christie brings a particularly layered depth to what could have been a very flat role; a combination of bereaved mother and castaway wife. Her torment and her intermittent joys are so fully communicated that they anchor the film.
  4. Reviewed by: Dave Kehr
    At his best, as he is here, Rudolph is always able to locate the emotional reality inside the dream. [26Dec1997 Pg53]
  5. The film itself tends to wander as it pokes around uneasily for its tone. Yet this is also, undeniably, the source of much of the film's charm. Afterglow bathes the screen with a warm amber light.
  6. 60
    Julie Christie is glorious, and that's most of what you need to know about this slight, loosely structured and self-consciously ironic soap opera in which two couples -- one young and troubled, the other older but hardly wiser -- get themselves into a series of fine messes.
  7. Afterglow is a lazy river of a movie that chooses beauty over sense and rhythm over reason. It goes nowhere slowly. [16Jan1998 Pg B.06]

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jan 19, 2012
    This immoral and involuntarily couple-swapping modern-day allegory has its conspicuous foible to cater for a wider demography, aThis immoral and involuntarily couple-swapping modern-day allegory has its conspicuous foible to cater for a wider demography, a self-consumingly pitched battle falls unfulfilled, one can feel the highly-contrived scheme runs amok at the latter part, and the films ends in an emotional gratification which is too Utopian to be credible to believe. The film garners a third Oscar nomination for the divine Julie Christie (after a 26 year hiatus since MCCABE & MRS. MILLER in 1971), whose role is the thorniest among the two pairs, and the film's pathos concretely hinges on her crack knack to embody the old lady who has her personal magnetism to fling with a frigid and wealthy pretty boy (only half of her age) at a convincing ease. Julie gracefully accomplishes her mission meanwhile Nolte, Miller and Boyle are all in solid shape to enliven their characters with ample credibility, although the thunder remains to belong to Ms. Christie. The central trauma orbits a childless status quo, which both couple yearn to alter, Christie tries to find her daughter back (who has deserted her 8 years ago after overhearing a hidden truth); while the bourgeois young wife Boyle is in eager to get pregnant when his sexually glacial husband refuses or is unable to commit the task. The mirror reflection has been exerted as a recurring gambit in the film, and the not-so-often witty wisecracks could be derived from director/writer Alan's strenuous endeavor on the script. Overall this low-budget marital vignette delivers a dramatic thesis on the lust-harvesting adult world with less-than-eloquent material and theatrical mechanics. Only Julie Christie exhibits a satisfying portrayal to deserve the time and dime we proffer. Expand