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Full Frontal (2002)

Rating: 5/10

Running Time: 106 minutes

UK Certificate: 18

A film that gives an inside look at Hollywood lifestyles. The film tells the stories of a variety of Hollywood types: actress (Julia Roberts), actor (Blair Underwood), journalist (David Hyde-Pierce), executive, and massage therapist amongst others; all in some way linked together by producer Gus (David Duchovny). It is an experimental and confusing film, with a surprising ending.

Your first thought while watching this film will no doubt be one of disbelief that it is a Miramax film, and secondly that it stars Julia Roberts. 'Full Frontal' is made up of montages of different characters' intertwining stories. Its time span is the length of a day, highlighting how the characters are all connected for both good and bad reasons. The film climaxes in a birthday party for the principle link, producer Gus, but ends in tragedy.

The film explores the often crazy world that is Hollywood (without telling us anything we don't already know) and is mostly shot on grainy film, with plenty of deliberate out-of-focus sequences, and dull lighting.

Most of this film is dark, with a few scenes of humour, albeit confusing. For example, Catherine Keener plays an executive who, during an interview, plays catch using a world globe with the interviewee, insisting that they recite all the areas in Africa. There are also many disturbing scenes, which don't appear to be at all relevant; although then again, not much of the film really is!

'Full Frontal' is a film within a film within a film- what we are watching as an audience is the film 'Full Frontal', but Full Frontal's events are also a film, and within that film is another film- confused yet? I was, and the filming techniques only add to it.

Despite all this there are some good elements to this film. The performance from David Hyde-Pierce, of 'Frasier' fame, is surprising. Never before have we seen him in such a dramatic role, and he handles it brilliantly. The film is at times so confusing that it is entertainment just trying to work it out, and just when you think you've got the answer – you haven't!

With Oscar winning films such as Erin Brockovich and Ocean's Eleven under his belt, Steven Soderbergh should leave this type of film to others and stick to making mainstream successes!

It's Got: Julia Roberts, but in this film that is not enough!

It Needs: The whole section about the Hitler stage play taken out - there is no point to it!


… It depends whether you want your brain to be entertained or tested!