High Art

Critics Consensus

A surprisingly sultry performance from Ally Sheedy elevates High Art from pretentious melodrama to compelling -- if still a little pretentious -- romance.

73%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 45

77%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,113
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Movie Info

Lisa Cholodenko's Sundance award-winning romantic drama about a photo magazine editor and the heroin-addicted former photo prodigy with whom she falls in love is ripe in cliches and artifice, but features two of the year's best performances, from Ally Sheedy and newcomer Radha Mitchell.

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Critic Reviews for High Art

All Critics (45) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (12)

  • A highlight of the 1998 Sundance Festival: Cholodenko depicts with unwavering veracity the breakup of one longtime lesbian relationship just as another, unexpected one begins. The acting of the three women, Sheedy Mitchell, and Clarkson, is superb.

    Dec 5, 2006 | Rating: B+

    Emanuel Levy

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • The film's treatment of women's sexuality is a nice contrast to the lesbian-bed-death clichés (and anti-chemistry) of Julianne Moore and Annette Bening in [Lisa] Cholodenko's more recent The Kids Are All Right.

    Mar 12, 2019 | Full Review…
  • High Art is often compelling and uncannily accurate in its evocation of downtown demi-monde characters and druggy, entropic milieu-the art in this film is high in more ways than one.

    Apr 11, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Clarkson's Greta... is wickedly funny, while Mitchell's ingénue convincingly combines puppyish idealism and steely ambition. But it is Sheedy's Lucy, nonchalantly sexy, sharply intelligent, tough and vulnerable, who is the film's heart and soul.

    Aug 14, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Warmed-over Red Shoe Diaries episode wrapped in a blanket of pretension.

    Apr 7, 2009 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Solid, sexy drama with a dash of wit. Fine performances especially by Clarkson.

    Apr 1, 2005 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for High Art

  • Feb 02, 2013
    Absorbing psychological tug-of-war ensues for the attentions of fragile, reclusive photographer Lucy (Ally Sheedy) between her current girlfriend, junkie German former actress Greta (Patricia Clarkson) and her newly introduced downstairs neighbor, assistant magazine layout editor Syd (Radha Mitchell) who can get her vocation back on the fast track. The title has a double meaning as Lucy is torn, she can choose to remain in her current situation of privacy locked in a world of drug-fueled parties and a debilitatingly dependent Greta, or gain the strength to get clean and join Syd which also means facing the pressures that drove her away from the photography business in the first place. This trio of actresses is equally excellent in showing each character's vulnerabilities and makes the film worth watching, even if it seems to end with a chapter missing.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Mar 06, 2010
    good to see ally sheedy, i havent seen her in years, a interesting role for her, although story is dull at times, and doesent really go anywhere, its worth a watch
    scott g Super Reviewer
  • Jan 26, 2010
    This is the film that had everyone aflutter because here we have Ally Sheedy coming out of the woodwork years after the Breakfast Club and she is a les-bion. She does a wonderful job but what happened to her co-star Radha Mitchell?
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 05, 2008
    Cholodenko's debut brims with luscious cinematography.Literally!!The trio is demanding in every frame,projecting the pessimism of life,abnormalities in relationships,a Queer film without the cliches of this genre (I refuse to call it that way).Clarkson is so fuckin' underrated I swear she could play an animated freak and still play as gorgeous as ever.Gloomy atmosphere during the sex scenes.
    Dimitris S Super Reviewer

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