High ArtJune 12, 1998
A young female intern at a small magazine company becomes involved with a drug-addicted lesbian photographer, both of whom seek to exploit each other for their respective careers, while slowly falling in love with each other.
Release Year: 1998
Rating: 6.6/10 (5,087 voted)
Critic's Score: 73/100
Stars: Radha Mitchell, Ally Sheedy, Patricia Clarkson
Syd, who lives with her boyfriend James, goes to complain to her neighbor about the leak in the ceiling. Her neigbor is photographer Lucy Berliner and Syd starts to fall in love with her.
a story of ambition, sacrifice, seduction and other career moves.
Release Date: 12 June 1998
Filming Locations: New York City, New York, USA
Opening Weekend: $47,499
(14 June 1998)
(13 September 1998)
Did You Know?
The character of Lucy Berliner (Ally Sheedy) was based on Nan Goldin's life and work.
It's like cultural studies or semiotics. Philosophy, you know? Foucault, Derrida, Kristava, whatevah.
A Tormented Extreme Close-Up
HIGH ART is remarkable not only for two of its lead performances, Ally
Sheedy and Patricia Clarkson, but for the way it so closely observes its
characters' lives. Director Cholodenko has found a way to tell her story
that has a strong feel of authenticity. One important component of the
film's realism is the set design. These are offices and, particularly,
apartments that feel like people actually work or live there. Such
authenticity may be nothing new, but the way Cholodenko moves people around
in these spaces and they way the actors perform combine to ground in what
seems a 'real world'. For those who have known, or been part of, the
'artistic scene' and its reliance on drug use, the numerous sequences set in
Lucy's dimly-lit, cluttered living room will ring quite
Ally Sheedy, attractive, but now slightly hardened in appearance, has gotten
deep inside the tormented world of Lucy Berliner. It's a character that will
be hard to forget, and the kind of performance that does not seem at all
As Berliner's dissolute former lover, Greta, Patricia Clarkson gives the
film its most colorful performance. This does seem like acting, but that is
not at all a criticism: Greta is in fact a failed actress and a person whose
descent into addiction and self-destruction must be theatrical at any
Pretty, round-faced Radha Mitchell is not at the level of these two
powerhouses, but her Syd is nicely understated and appropriately
Also very fine in the cast are impossibly handsome Bill Sage as a hanger-on
and Tammy Grimes as Lucy's stern, distant mother.
HIGH ART depicts a world where some discuss the minute details of a
photograph in the most abstruse terms of deconstruction or ambiguous 'art
babble', while others grapple with the basic questions that haunt us all.
It's an extreme close-up on the human condition.