Starring Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland
Directed by Alan J. Pakula
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***
There is a genuine 60s-70s vibe in Klute (which is to be expected, I guess, considering it was made in 1971) that never once feels dated and that's not an easy task in films made in this time period. Credit is certainly due to director Alan J. Pakula who has crafted a beautiful-looking film with some visually engaging images and some incredibly powerful simplistic long takes that allow his leading actress to really come off well.
And it's that Academy Award-winning turn of Jane Fonda has call girl Bree that really carries this piece. Her Bree is troubled, longing to get out of prostitution, but unable to make it as an actress or model. Going back to the world's oldest profession is the easy thing to do, but it leaves her utterly confused and expressing her thoughts weekly to a psychologist.
Also upsetting to Bree is the fact that she's seemingly being stalked by an unknown man. Perhaps this stalker is connected to the missing person case that private detective John Klute (Donald Sutherland) is trying to solve. One of his best friends, Tom, apparently wrote an erotic note to Bree after a torrid night with her, but Bree can't recall the man. Using Bree's connections, Klute tries to find out the clues to his best friend's disappearance, all the while finding himself drawn to the seductive Bree.
The film drags on a tiny bit and ultimately isn't as thrilling as I thought it was going to be, but in the end, Klute is much more of a character study than a mystery. Fonda and Sutherland are pretty great here, with Fonda particularly impressive. The scenes in her psychologist's office could have been throwaway scenes, but Fonda makes them surprisingly gripping. Add that to the fact that director Pakula keeps the camera in one spot for many of Fonda's scenes, allowing long takes to show her emotional ups and downs and it's easy to see why she won the Oscar. There's a crying scene that Fonda has at the end that was one of the most raw I've ever seen.
Take a look at this one if anything I wrote above catches your fancy...it's a nice piece of '70s era filmmaking.
The RyMickey Rating: B+