1999   USA Random Hearts
Random Hearts Image Cover
Additional Images
Director:Sydney Pollack
Studio:Sony Pictures
Writer:Warren Adler, Darryl Ponicsan, Kurt Luedtke
IMDb Rating:4.9 (11,797 votes)
Duration:133 min
Sydney Pollack  ...  (Director)
Warren Adler, Darryl Ponicsan, Kurt Luedtke  ...  (Writer)
Harrison Ford  ...  Dutch Van Den Broeck
Kristin Scott Thomas  ...  Kay Chandler
Charles S. Dutton  ...  Alcee
Bonnie Hunt  ...  Wendy Judd
Dennis Haysbert  ...  Detective George Beaufort
Sydney Pollack  ...  Carl Broman
Richard Jenkins  ...  Truman Trainor
Paul Guilfoyle  ...  Dick Montoya
Susanna Thompson  ...  Peyton Van Den Broeck
Peter Coyote  ...  Cullen Chandler
Dylan Baker  ...  Richard Judd
Lynne Thigpen  ...  Phyllis Bonaparte
Susan Floyd  ...  Molly Roll
Bill Cobbs  ...  Marvin
Kate Mara  ...  Jessica Chandler
Dave Grusin  ...  Composer
Philippe Rousselot  ...  Cinematographer
William Steinkamp  ...  Editor
Summary: Reviled by critics and largely ignored by moviegoers when released in 1999, Random Hearts is a pox on the reputations of Harrison Ford, Kristin Scott Thomas, and director Sydney Pollack, but it doesn't entirely deserve its lowly fate. The movie's lugubriously paced and its repressed passions are dulled under the weight of relentless melancholy, but Pollack deserves credit for defying the Hollywood Zeitgeist with a mature, substantial film about the power of betrayal to reach beyond the grave.

Ford plays a Washington, D.C. detective; Scott Thomas is a Congresswoman in the midst of a re-election campaign. When their spouses die in a plane crash, the cop is convinced they'd been having an affair, and his obsessive, masochistic quest for the painful truth draws him closer to the Congresswoman despite the mutual risks to their careers and domestic privacy. While she hides behind a fa├žade of denial, his agonized investigation makes him simultaneously unappealing (a risk Ford may have taken as a challenge), sympathetic, and sadly compelling.

Pollack takes his own chances by keeping everything so relentlessly downbeat, but anyone receptive to the story will find that Random Hearts is a subtly rewarding study of tormented adults who've discovered too late the weaknesses of their seemingly stable marriages. It's anything but cheerful, and a subplot involving a corrupt cop (Dennis Haysbert) is a formulaic distraction. But Random Hearts provides welcome relief from dramas that flirt with emotional anguish without delving into its deeper consequences. --Jeff Shannon

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