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3.8 out of 5 stars
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 9 April 2013
Art is business as every collector will tell you. In contemporary London, an old man in dire straits tries to salvage his last belonging (a Mondrian painting, the world famous Boogie-Woogie), from the predatory instincts of his wife who hopes to get a huge price for it thanks to an unscrupulous gallerist. No deep feelings here, only a charming, witty and fast-paced comedy beautifully served by a host of skilled actors and actresses who seem to enjoy the show.
I would recommend this film to anyone who ever fell in love with Heather Graham's incredibly radiant smile or with Amanda Seyfried's
subversive good looks and dead-pan humor. Stellan Skarsgard seems as well to revel in this kind of light-hearted cynicism. Comedy is what we need in those troubled times. Come to think of it: how many smiling, charming and optimistic characters did you meeet lately in your neighbourhood ?
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on 6 April 2010
The movie was nothing like I expected, it was really enjoyable and entertaining! I went to the premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival last year. I was expecting a really arty, obscure, sex filled, bizarre film, but it was nothing like that! It was very funny and clever and although there is quite a lot of nudity it didn't feel exploitative.

Gillian Anderson has a cute English accent and the character she plays is really different to what I expected. Although she is a snob in the art world, she actually plays a really naive, confused woman! It is all played for laughs, you don't have that much sympathy for the character (although I had some), but it is a really different character from those she has played in the past.

Although, being a fan, I focused primarily on Gillian's performance, kudos must go to Alan Cumming who I thought was really wonderful in the movie. His performance really gave the film an emotional heart.

I have no idea why it has taken so long to get this film distributed, it is highly enjoyable and much better than lots of the junk at the cinema. If you are a Gillian fan, she has some priceless scenes to look forward to, if you are just a movie fan in general it's a great little film, which I'd definitely recommend.
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on 26 December 2014
Just loved this movie! A funny, wicked satire based on a terrific novel, and a great cast, with Danny Huston, Gillian Anderson, Christopher Lee (!), and especially Stellan Skarsgard, who's yummy, as always. If you love clever, cutting, adult humor, check this one out.
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VINE VOICEon 18 August 2010
Plot:

"Boogie Woogie" traces the triumphs and pitfalls of several archetypical representatives of the London contemporary art world. The lives of collectors, owners, dealers, artists and their partners and employees interweave in a world of trendy hysteria, stupid money, hedonistic indulgence, Machiavellian ambition, British pomposity, betrayal, sex and old fashioned greed. Much of the action is centred on a piece of modern art owned by an ailing and frail yet aggressively stubborn and proud old man, Mr Alfred Rhinegold (Christopher Lee). His entire status revolves around his ownership of the piece, called "Boogie Woogie", which he will not part with no matter the price. Meanwhile his wife (Joanna Lumley) struggles with their debts in order to retain the high standard London living they enjoy and connives behind his back with their manservant to sell the work. Outside of their lives a greedy dealer with his own obscure private desires works hard to organize the sale of the piece to an extremely rich and obsessive collector. Within the dealers own business lurk ambitious and vulnerable underlings and around it swim both predatory and tragic wannabes. As for the collector himself, his wife (Gillian Anderson) will bring matters startlingly to a head with his prized art collection...

Review:

I am often very sceptical about "star studded" movies. Animated films tend to have a distinctively higher record for pulling it off, but most big budget blockbusters or art films (the most common places to find an ensemble of established movie actors) that boast an all-star cast are their own worst enemy. The blockbusters are often so painfully cynical in their conception and execution that everything becomes substandard, even the acting. The art films, of which this very loosely falls (it's a comedy of manners, which by today's standards has gone from a form of archaic broad comedy to a type of wry satire), tend to come across as desperate attempt for stars to prove how well they can actually act. I am happy to report that you can go a lot worse than "Boogie Woogie".

If you are looking for laugh out loud or even very clever comedy writing, you are going to be at a loss. The Guardian described it as being very shallow. I am not so sure. True, it lacks much in the way of empathy at its core. The non-predatory characters in the film come across as so weak that your only sympathy for them comes from a general sense of human compassion and not from any particularly redeeming characteristics. The proud Rhinegold character would be worth rooting for if his reasons for holding onto his painting were a little more honourable. The closest to what you might regards as villains of the piece are a better mixture of characters, each symbolizing the amoral pragmatism and manipulation methods found in the art world. There is the trader, his ambitious assistant (Heather Graham), the rakish social climbing male artist and a lesbian up-and-coming artist who expertly manipulate all those around them. You find yourself disapproving of their methods and objectives, but cannot but share their contempt for the gullibility of the "more money than sense" buyers and the sophisticated sheep who value the example of "Emperor's New Clothes". It is this aspect that resonates with me.

The film is what you could describe as a "biting satire" - if you will pardon the cliché. As I said before it isn't particularly funny. There are no funny situations and certainly little in the way of quotable and no witty one-liners - something a film of this nature seriously needs - but you do find yourself chuckling as the observations of the absurdities of contemporary supposed high society. It is savage and nihilistic to some degree, but this doesn't mean that all the a-moralists tend to win through. In this sense it is even more chaotic than something that might have more Sadiean principles at heart. However, when a roguish character does end up on the losing end, it is either because of bad luck or being bettered by another villain. Like the brilliant "Swimming with Sharks", "Boogie Woogie" serves well as a cautionary tale for anyone who aspires to the professional world of art. Unfortunately whereas "Swimming with Sharks" gave us a harsh "this ain't no fairy tale" type ending that made you think about the story's core messages and where its diluted imitator "The Devil Wears Prada" offered a more uplifting finish, most viewers will probably find "Boogie Woogie" to be somewhat unfulfilling. Nevertheless, and you will forgive my shallowness here, but any satire that kicks the pompous and shamelessly trendy "high society" of the London art world up the backside should be applauded to some degree.

*Previously published on Dooyoo, Ciao and Helium*
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on 20 March 2011
I went into this film without knowing anything about it so wasn't sure what to expect. It's generally a fairly good film, however, i found it to be fairly flat in some places, as though the film didn't really know where it was going and it was struggling for a storyline. It also seems to jump ahead, as though there are a few scenes missing from the film. The acting is played very well by all actors which helped make the film watchable. It would of recieved 3 stars, however, in 1 scene, a character looses her deformed baby and her new friend mounts it in a glass box and gives it to her as a present (as to which she then cries her eyes out). No explanation is given as to why he does this, and it feels totaly out of place in this film. And far from being a prude, i found it to be rather disturbing. Maybe the reasons are explained in the book, but going by the merits of watching this film, i have no desire to read the book.
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on 5 January 2014
This is a great romp through the contemporary art world. Sexy and funny with a stellar cast of household names.
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on 9 May 2010
I must agree with the other reviewers in one respect, that is, all the players play their parts really well and make this film watchable (just)!

Unfortunately this film suffers from the same problems as "Myra Breckenbridge" for instance, that is that the author of the novel (which is great), also made the film, and Boogie Woogie proves once again that good novelists very rarely make good directors, especially when it relates to their own novel/s.

The other glaring problem, is that male directors never shoot scenes of sexual activity between women and make the said scenes work, the scenes always end up either as "soft porn" or, as in this case, the women look as if they are going through the motions, and not enjoying making the scenes.

For me this could have been a very good film,instead it ends up a mess, plus I also think that Ms Lumley and Ms Anderson are under used!
Rent don't buy!
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on 15 November 2014
Absolutely wonderful film, especially if you're an Amanda Seyfried fan. She plays her role wonderfully, just adorable. It's unfortunate, that this movie is so little known, it truly is a gem! Buy and enjoy!
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on 22 April 2010
My hubby and I watched this and both thought it was a good entertaining movie. Alan Cumming's (Dewey) and Danny Huston's (Art) were our faveorite characters. Art's 'FAKE' laugh was brilliant and he was just ripping everyone off left right and centre. . . it was so funny. Jack Huston who plays Joe, Well just very pleasing on the eye! Gillian Anderson and Joanna Lumley were both amazing as they always are in any role they play. Joanna Lumley should have had more screen time I think, wasn't in it enough for my liking.
It is an all round funny, entertaining and slightly emotional film at times and I would recommend it to anyone. Enjoy!
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on 17 January 2014
London's contemporary art world, everyone has a hustle.

Art Spindle runs a high-end gallery and he hopes to flip a painting for millions. One of his assistants, Beth, is sleeping with Art's most acquisitive client, Bob Macclestone.

Beth wants Bob to set her up in her own gallery, so she helps him go behind Art's back for the painting.

Bob's wife, Jean, sets her eye on a young conceptual artist, Jo, who lusts after Art's newest assistant, Paige.

Meanwhile, self-absorbed lesbian Filmmaker is chewing her way through friends and lovers looking to make it. If she dumps her agent, Beth may give her a show.....

The cast are great, and the film looks amazing, even though it took me ten minutes to realise the film wasn't set in the seventies, but all in all, it's just too busy, and it gets lost up its own backside.

The director must think that when you get such a beautiful cast, things like plot, narrative, and character study do not really matter, just throw in a couple of nude scenes and the public will be interested.

It seems that this must of been a pet project for him, and I guess he's some kind of 'luvvie' in theatre, but the man cannot direct.

It's full of people moaning about money and being good looking and wanting more and more, and then losing it all and shouting, and taking drugs and alcohol.

If I want that, I can just go into the city on a Saturday night.

Awful and pretentious, but Winstone is fantastic.
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