Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle is a top-notch movie. Everything is in place -- a striking lead performance, solid supporting players, a well-written script, and, above all, expert direction to merge the ingredients.
Director Alan Rudolph has certainly done his part, leading a colorful parade of Jazz Age editors, essayists and playwrights in arguably one too many directions - easily surpassing The Moderns, his '20s-expatriate companion piece. [25 Nov 1994, p.4D]
Alan Rudolph's 1994 feature about writer Dorothy Parker and the famous Algonquin wits she hung out with in the 20s certainly has its pleasures, but someone should tell Rudolph that, for all his skill and charm, period movies aren't really his forte.
Jennifer Jason Leigh's draggy performance as Parker is all studied accent (something vaguely mid- Atlantic but never before heard on Earth) and equally studied self-pity and it cannot sustain our sympathy, or our interest in this inept film.