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Speaking Parts [DVD]

Michael McManus , Arsinée Khanjian , Atom Egoyan    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £20.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Michael McManus, Arsinée Khanjian, Gabrielle Rose, Tony Nardi, David Hemblen
  • Directors: Atom Egoyan
  • Writers: Atom Egoyan
  • Producers: Atom Egoyan, Camelia Frieberg, Donald Ranvaud
  • Format: PAL, Import
  • Language: Armenian, English, French
  • Subtitles: Dutch
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Indies
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Sep 2007
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B001APK9HI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 225,044 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Netherlands released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: Armenian ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), English ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), French ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), Dutch ( Subtitles ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Box Set, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: A struggling, bit-part actor's job as a hotel custodian is a front for his real job: being rented out as a gigolo by his woman supervisor. A female co-worker is obsessed with him, but he ignores and avoids her. He leaves his acting resume in the hotel room of a woman screenwriter, who is casting for a TV movie based on the true story of her deceased brother. She hires him to play the lead and the two begin an affair. She becomes increasingly distraught as it becomes evident that the movie's producer is changing her story. Egoyan's trademark tangle of bizarre relationships surrounds the protagonists on their way to a mind-blowing conclusion. A hypnotic, fascinating film. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Vancouver International Film Festival, ...Speaking Parts

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not quite satisfying 15 Feb 2014
By schumann_bg TOP 100 REVIEWER
Speaking Parts seems to be about acting and filming, and I should probably see it again; however first impressions do count and I didn't feel its collage effect and rather intellectual, playful tone quite worked on first viewing. By setting up a critique of video by means of the behind-the-scenes preparation for a film-shoot, linked to the staff and guests in a hotel, the director Atom Egoyan leaves the viewer feeling a bit stranded. It falls prey to the very alienation that seems to be its central theme, so that in the end you are left with a slight numbness. The music helps to offset this, but it doesn't work as well as Exotica, which made more imaginative use of location and probably used sexuality to better effect, drawing the viewer into a strange intensity. Something of the same absurdity can be heard in the dialogues, however, which are often quite amusing.

This is no doubt a reflection of personal taste, but I find art house films like this can fall into a certain coldness, where there is too much detachment and the images fail to engage the emotions. On the other hand, popular films are either too sentimental, or try to give questionable visceral thrills or assert banal messages, or possibly all three ... The band down the middle - or maybe right off to one side? - seems the right one, the only one that can really satisfy, but it is far narrower than the two broad bands. (For me, Louis Malle is an ideal example of intelligent filmmaking where the heart and the head are held in a perfect balance, that has met with reasonable commercial success, but I don't think Egoyan quite hits the mark.)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Riveting and Spellbinding!! 24 Aug 2001
By - Published on
I was pleasantly surprised to see the release of this film, since it got less than it's deserved attention. The moodiness and underlying tension focus on Lance, a part-time actor/houskeeper/ prostitute trying desperately to break into the forefront of dramatic performances, but all of his efforts seem to be thwarted at every turn. His employer wants to keep him as her own personal sexual property to be doled out upon demand to customers, and Lisa, another employee at the hotel where he works has raised the level of obsessiveness to new heights, dragging other people into her obsession. Claire, a screenwriter Lance seduces into helping him to be cast in a locally produced film, has her own obsessions, and incorporates Lance into compromising his own needs with disatrous results. The performances were outstanding, especially from McManus, who portrays the effete Lance with a mixture of selfishness and torment. Lisa's descent into madness is underplayed just right, no over-the-top histrionics. The only flaw I found was the unbelievably bad wig they put on McManus for the comparison to Claire's brother's image. It must have been dreadful to acheive the desired results with the stringy locks hovering around just enough to distract his performance. But then, bad wigs pretty much come with the territory for McManus, who is also one of the lead actors on the sci-fi epic, "Lexx", currently on television, but his performances are just as spellbinding.. The Dvd comes with lovely extra goodies, especially the narration by Egoyan, which explains motivations behind each and every scene. Also contained were deleted scenes, which explained a few things not evident on first viewing. Highly recommened, but ignore the bad costumes and hairdos...
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another brilliant Egoyan film 4 May 2005
By audrey - Published on
Speaking Parts begins, as do all of Egoyan's films, in the middle of a complex web of relationships, and part of the joy of the movie is to figure out what those relationships are as they are revealed to us in a very natural way. Lance is a hotel housekeeper/gigolo/aspiring actor and Lisa is another housekeeper who loves him. Since this love is unrequited, Lisa obsessively rents videos in which he appears, though he does not have a speaking part in any of them; at one point Lisa even defends this to another character when she asserts that "words aren't all that important". Clara is the screenwriter for a film that is being cast, and in her staying at the hotel, Lance sees seducing her as his way of taking advantage of a big break. Clara, in the meantime, is often seen viewing a memorial film of her brother at a mausoleum.

As the film progresses, we learn that Clara's screenplay is autobiographical, though Clara is losing control of the project at the same time she's mesmerized by Lance. Characters are often seen detached from others -- viewing rather than participating in life and watching people rather than interacting with them. Also, many of the characters look alike in an androgynous way, becoming more interchangeable and confusing the relationships we see.

Egoyan is one of my favorite directors. Whenever I start a film of his that I haven't seen before, I settle in for a good long while. I watch it and then watch it with the director's commentary and then re-watch it. They are that rich and rewarding, and Speaking Parts is no exception.

Extras include an excellent and rewarding director's commentary as well as stills and some interviews with Egoyan.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 80's Avante Garde 15 Feb 2002
By A Customer - Published on
This movie is a prime example of 80's egosim and the human need to see the way others view you. Lisa played by Khanjian,(I think she is also Atom's wife) is a hotel maid that craves the attention of Lance a co-worker. The bulk of the movie is centered on Lance and Lisa and how they their need for attention ultimately throws them into a web of intrigue, delusions, sexual desire and ultimatley death. This is a movie that is best seen more than once, due to it's hidden meaning and dialogue. If possible I would highly recommend getting the DVD version, because there is commentary from Atom that is very helpful. F.Y.I. Micheal McManus also appears in the sci-fi show "Lexx," as the dead bun-headed assassin Kai and he also has a cameo in "Dog Park," as the waiter.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A deeper look into Speaking Parts 26 Mar 2000
By A Customer - Published on
"Speaking Parts" is far more than just the script for the movie. This softcover book also includes an introduction by Ron Burnett, an essay by Atom Egoyan, and an interview with Egoyan by Marc Glassman. These all lead the viewer to a deeper understanding of the complexity and artistry of Egoyan's second major film. The book is also enhanced by black and white stills as well as pages from the original script showing hand written sketches and dialogue changes. Also included is a filmography of Egoyan's films through 1993. If you've been carried away by the film as I have, you must find a copy of this book!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stylish But Thin 29 Oct 2012
By mr. contrarian - Published on
This is an exercise in tone and mood that doesn't really have enough bite or story to keep the viewer interested. It does have a 1980's ominous feeling that characters are flirting with a dark world they don't really understand, but lacks the energy and danger of "Blue Velvet" which must have heavily influenced it.
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