Lawrence O'Toole
September 06, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

1900

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
315 minutes
performer
Robert De Niro, Gerard Depardieu, Ariane Schluter, Ad van Kempen, Donald Sutherland
director
Bernardo Bertolucci, Theo van Gogh
author
Bernardo Bertolucci
genre
Drama, Erotic, Foreign Language

We gave it an A

Grippingly candid and charged with eroticism, Theo van Gogh’s two-character film of a man and a woman who meet on a phone-sex line packs an emotional punch directly to the solar plexus. Despite the built-in defense mechanisms of electronic satisfaction, which is nearly always comfortably faceless and remote, Sara (Ariane Schluter) and Wilbert (Ad van Kempen) become helplessly attached. The crisscrossing of need, desire, and loneliness gets poignantly tangled as the two actors take us into the seldom-traveled landscape of psychosexuality. The fluid, painterly style of van Gogh, a descendant of the Dutch artist, keeps 1-900 from becoming a talking-head duet. Powerhouse stuff. A

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