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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

L'objet d'art

The Object of Beauty on IMDb

Plot Overview

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manspudspudspudSome small potatoes interactions occur of a muscle-sore London hotel guest Tina Oaks (Andie MacDowell) unable to communicate with the deaf-mute maid Jenny Doughty (Rudi Davies) helping her­self to some bath salts from the service cart out in the hall­way and of silent Jenny hearing a knick­knack “on the side table like a bowl of peanuts” speak to her (“I know I heard it”) and taking it home. The rub is it's a valuable Thomas Moore statuette that the occupants of the room wanted to sell to pay their bill. It gets passed around as a MacGuffin, a term Alfred Hitch­cock coined to refer to some object in a movie, which while not its main focus moves the plot along.

coffee timeboy and girlright handWhile Tina and her paramour Jake Bartholomew (John Malkovich) dine on spaghetti in a fancy restaurant, Jenny and her brother Flynn chow down on home cooked noodles in their sub­base­ment flat. Jake uses his hand to signal the waiter for the check. Jenny mouths a five-count before entering a room to clean. Tina's confidante Joan (Lolita Davidovich) is a tramp with a history of making it with other women's men. Flynn's fence Frankie (Roger Lloyd-Pack) is a low level opportunist who won't receive stolen goods unless he's confident he can find a buyer. The hotel manager Mr. Mercer (Joss Ackland) to avoid negative publicity, wants to keep knowledge of the theft in-house. His house detective Martin Slaughter (Jack Shepherd) takes out an ad in the paper offering a reward.


Jake (35) and Tina (31) have been on their ‘bunnymoon’ for two years now; they rut like rabbits, but they're not married “in the classic sense.” Their down­turn in fortune worries Jake “the provider” more than it does Tina who trusts things will work out as they always do, Jake is so smart. Indeed Jake crosses him­self before tending to their dining bill, and Flynn wears a crucifix earring; there's a higher power at play here. Tina muses on her lack of any maternal instinct (“I hate children.”)

God's sentiments regarding child rearing seem to be expressed in, (Psalm 127:1-5) “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” That psalm seemingly pictures a bloke who works as a carpenter during the day and as a watchman by night. He's not getting any sleep and he's neglecting his children. God rates priorities differently.

In TOOB the guy is losing sleep over worry. His all-or-nothing stock investment has hit an unforeseen snag. His girl­friend's one item of value is missing. The Lord works in mysterious ways. Children keep popping up in the periphery and the lady starts rethinking her aversion to them.

The hunter “with his quiver full of them … shall not be ashamed but … shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” The gate was the place where all business was trans­acted in the ancient world. Here it's Mr. Mercer's office where Jenny's mom Mrs. Doughty (Rosemary Martin) gives him an earful for his job discrimination. Parents speak up boldly on behalf of their children, do they not?

Production Values

” (1991) was written and directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg. It stars John Malkovich, Andie MacDowell and Lolita Davidovich. They give wonderful performances, and the deaf-mute's visage is appropriately expressive.

MPA rated it R for language [includes a few g.d.'s]. The setting was British sublime. The dialogue was replete with witticisms. The female lead showed off her stuff. Runtime is 1¾ hours.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

No complaints on this one save the language stepped out of bounds for a Christian's taste in a couple places. There seems to be a learning curve to redeem the lecherous characters. It's more reality-based than faith-based, thank God. If you can relax and enjoy it, it should prove pleasant viewing.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.