CINEMA: Stiletto Heel

Robert Altman sends a hate letter to the fashion industry

When you hear the word French, you may think of elegance, hauteur and haute couture. When Robert Altman hears the word, he thinks of farce, polluted rivers and dog doo under everyone's foot. Pret-a-Porter (Ready to Wear) is the director's long-winded hate letter to the fashion industry and those who cover it. The film is a flaccid mess, missing its easy targets. It is also undiluted Altman -- a movie that sums up his attitude toward actors, audiences, the press, humanity. When you hear the word contempt, you think of Robert Altman.

Fashion is in a particularly ugly, aimless, self-parodying phase...

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