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Prêt-à-Porter, released in the US as Ready to Wear (Prêt-à-Porter), is a 1994 American satirical comedy-drama film co-written, directed, and produced by Robert Altman and shot on location during the Paris Fashion Week with a host of international stars, models, and designers.
|Prêt-à-Porter / Ready to Wear|
American theatrical promotional poster
|Directed by||Robert Altman|
|Music by||Michel Legrand|
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
|Box office||US$19.8 million|
The film features an extensive ensemble cast, including Anouk Aimée, Marcello Mastroianni, Sophia Loren, Kim Basinger, Stephen Rea, Lauren Bacall, Julia Roberts, Tim Robbins, Lili Taylor, and Sally Kellerman.
As models, designers and journalists gather for Paris Fashion Week, Fashion Council head Olivier de la Fontaine chokes to death on a sandwich, leaving behind a wife, a mistress, and a mysterious Russian companion who has fled the scene. As the death is being investigated, three rival magazine editors vie for the exclusive services of a trendy photographer while two journalists begin a hotel room tryst.
- Marcello Mastroianni as Sergei/Sergio
- Sophia Loren as Isabella de la Fontaine
- Anouk Aimée as Simone Lowenthal
- Rupert Everett as Jack Lowenthal
- Julia Roberts as Anne Eisenhower
- Tim Robbins as Joe Flynn
- Kim Basinger as Kitty Potter
- Stephen Rea as Milo O'Brannigan
- Forest Whitaker as Cy Bianco
- Richard E. Grant as Cort Romney
- Lauren Bacall as Slim Chrysler
- Lyle Lovett as Clint Lammeraux
- Lili Taylor as Fiona Ulrich
- Sally Kellerman as Sissy Wanamaker
- Tracey Ullman as Nina Scant
- Linda Hunt as Regina Krumm
- Teri Garr as Louise Hamilton
- Danny Aiello as Major Hamilton
- Ute Lemper as Albertine
- Rossy de Palma as Pilar
- Chiara Mastroianni as Sophie Choiset
- Jean-Pierre Cassel as Olivier de la Fontaine
- Georgianna Robertson as Dane Simpson
- Jean Rochefort as Inspector Tantpis
- Michel Blanc as Inspector Forget
- François Cluzet as Nina's assistant
- Kasia Figura as Sissy's assistant
- Sam Robards as Regina's assistant
- Alexandra Vandernoot as Sandra de la Notte
Miramax considered that American audiences would not understand a French title, so they released the film in the US as Ready to Wear (Prêt-à-Porter). In other countries, where basic French competence was assumed, the original title was used. The US DVD and VHS title was Robert Altman's Ready to Wear.
Roger Ebert gave the film two-and-a-half stars out of four and thought it "should have gone further and been meaner; too many of [Altman's] jokes are generic slapstick, instead of being aimed squarely at industry's targets." Gene Siskel gave it one-and-a-half out of four stars and called it "a true bomb as director Robert Altman, on a very hot streak, improbably finds absolutely nothing funny or fresh to say about the fashion industry and the 'journalists' who cover it with a wet kiss. Lacking a screenplay, Altman's intercutting among boring caricatures grows old quickly, and after 2½ hours, it may occur to you: 'I could have been shopping.'" Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote that Altman's "laissez-faire satirical style proves ineffectual for shooting fish in this barrel. Fashion is too self-conscious to be skewered so casually." Rita Kempley of The Washington Post called the film "a mess" that was "most compelling when Altman turns his camera on the kitschy runway shows themselves ... Perhaps Altman should have made this film as a documentary instead." Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times wrote that the film "sounds like Altman's most recent successes, 'The Player' and 'Short Cuts.' But there is a difference between creative improvisation and absolute chaos, and while those films were delicately balanced balls that magically stayed in the air, 'Ready to Wear,' with a script credited to Altman and Barbara Shulgasser, has a haphazard 'Let's go to Paris and see what happens' feeling that wastes everyone's time and talent." Owen Glieberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a grade of C- and wrote, "Virtually everything that happens is held up for our ridicule, yet it's never quite clear what we're supposed to be laughing at. The characters aren't really mocked for their attitudes, their obsessions with glamour and money and style. They aren't savaged in any specific, observational ways that could truly be called satirical. They're made fun of simply because they're silly, trivial human beings—walking punchlines in a joke that never arrives. It's like watching an Altman film that's been drained by a vampire."
John Simon writing for the National Review said Prêt-à-Porter was a picture that only a director's mother could love and that though the film lasted over two hours, wore out its welcome in ten minutes.
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy||Prêt-à-Porter||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Sophia Loren||Nominated|
|National Board of Review Awards||Best Acting by an Ensemble||Marcello Mastroianni, Sophia Loren, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Kim Basinger, Chiara Mastroianni, Stephen Rea, Anouk Aimée, Rupert Everett, Rossy de Palma, Tara Leon, Georgianna Robertson, Lili Taylor, Ute Lemper, Forest Whitaker, Tom Novembre, Richard E. Grant, Anne Canovas, Julia Roberts, Tim Robbins, Lauren Bacall, Lyle Lovett, Tracey Ullman, Sally Kellerman, Linda Hunt, Teri Garr, Danny Aiello, Jean Rochefort, Michel Blanc||Won|
- "Here Comes the Hotstepper" (Heartical Mix) - Ini Kamoze
- "My Girl Josephine" - Super Cat
- "Here We Come" - Salt-N-Pepa
- "Natural Thing" - M People
- "70's Love Groove" - Janet Jackson
- "Jump On Top of Me" - The Rolling Stones
- "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" - Sam Phillips
- "Pretty" (Remix) - The Cranberries
- "Third Time Lucky" - Basia Trzetrzelewska
- "Martha" - Eric Mouquet, Michel Sanchez forming the group Deep Forest
- "Close to You" - The Brand New Heavies
- "Keep Givin' Me Your Love" (West End Mix) - Cece Peniston
- "Get Wild" - The New Power Generation
- Supermodel Sandwich - Terence Trent D'Arby
- "Lemon" (Perfecto Mix) - U2
- "Prêt-à-Porter (Ready to Wear)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 2017-02-04.
- Maslin, Janet. "NY Times: Prêt-à-Porter". NY Times.com. Retrieved 2009-04-02.
- Ready to Wear (Prêt-à-Porter) at Rotten Tomatoes
- Ebert, Roger (December 25, 1994). "Ready to Wear (Prêt-à-Porter)". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
- Siskel, Gene (December 30, 1994). "'Ready to Wear' quickly starts to unravel in Altman's hands". Chicago Tribune. Section 7, page B.
- Maslin, Janet (December 23, 1994). "Altman's Swipe At Fashion". The New York Times. C1.
- Kempley, Rita (December 25, 1994). "Altman's Got Nothing To 'Wear'". The Washington Post. G8.
- Turan, Kenneth (December 23, 1994). "'Ready to Wear': Latest in Altman's Fashion Line". Los Angeles Times. F1, F44.
- Glieberman, Owen (December 23, 1994). "Nothing Underneath". Entertainment Weekly. 44.
- Simon, John (2005). John Simon on Film: Criticism 1982-2001. Applause Books. p. 452.
- "Dumb' Laughs = a Smart Payoff : Box office: Jim Carrey vehicle pulls a 'Gump,' taking in $16.2 million on an otherwise slow film-going weekend". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-31.
- Prêt-à-Porter at Box Office Mojo