Cinema: Short Takes: Afterglow

Insignificant Others

Phyllis (Julie Christie) is sad. A former horror-film star, she spends her days watching her old movies on cassette and brooding about her runaway daughter. Her husband Lucky (Nick Nolte) is...well, lucky--a handyman with plenty of randy women for clients. Marianne (Lara Flynn Boyle) is one of them, feverish with desire for the baby her financier husband Jeffrey (Jonny Lee Miller) is too preoccupied to provide.

The women--one mourning a lost child, the other yearning to have one--offer mirror images of the mothering instinct. The men--a working stiff grabbing furtive pleasure on the fly and an executive taking stupid risks (Jeffrey...

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