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Arbogast1960's Movie Reviews (50)

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Tootsie 
"Is he coming back?"
4/4 stars

In Tootsie, Sydney Pollack and Dustin Hoffman achieve the highly improbable: a mainstream, studio comedy that is also a great movie (for another example, see the following year's Terms of Endearment). Hoffman was still at his peak (before his late-period foray into dazed overacting), and delivers an astonishingly nuanced performance. He somehow manages to be hilarious while still having to be reasonably convincing as a woman (unlike, say, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in Some Like It Hot, who are deliberately caricatured and unbelievable). Bill Murray (in an unbilled part) is in his best deadpan-witty mode. And while Jessica Lange does well as the girl for whom no one could be blamed for falling, Teri Garr deserved Lange's Oscar. Her performance (not unlike Hoffman's) succeeds in evoking a sense of desperation and insecurity while being an over-the-top riot. Quotable throughout, with a marvelous script by Larry Gelbart and Elaine May (among others), it works as the perfect Sydney Pollack vehicle--wonderful words delivered by wonderful actors, with a competent director willing to get out of their way.


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