The Belly of an Architect (1987) - Drama

Hohum Score



An architect supervising an exhibition starts to have mysterious stomach pains while his life slowly falls apart.

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Brian Dennehy, Chloe Webb
Length: 119 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 6 out of 28 found boring (21.42%)

One-line Reviews (24)

He's one of few who can - not always mind, but the few occasions are precious - align the notions of image, how they project outwards to form what we know of reality - an empty field of anxious, random forces tossing us around - and the interior springwell from where these images flow out and which reveals ourselves to be in control of them.

From a bored housewife's point this is a film in which no one opts for a direct killing.

The visuals of Rome are stunning.

It was predictable that at least one of the main three characters would die at the end.

This is possibly the most painful and yet bland love-drama I've seen.

The story is really quite boring and the acting aside from Dennehy not all that good – Chloe Webb being particularly flat as his wife; look out also for Stefania (Suspiria) Cassini sporting an unfamiliar cropped 80's barnet.

This is a film about boredom,infidelity and general nature of uselessness.

This is a film about boredom,infidelity and general nature of uselessness.

Yet Brian Dennehy, in an intense, engaging performance, makes us feel for him and his predicament.

Intriguing, Gorgeous-Looking Tragedy Of American Architect's Life Unravelling Whilst In Rome .

From a bored housewife's point this is a film in which no one opts for a direct killing.

Greenaway was fortunate to have had someone like Dennehy, because quite frankly the rest of the cast was miserably uninteresting and flat.

I have found the other Greenaway films I have seen (Draughtsman's Contract, Prospero's Books, Drowning by Numbers) fascinating, lush, decadent and funny movies.

Mr. Cracklite is so immersed in his job that it's hard not to see where this is going.

I highly recommend it.

For all that it is a compelling watch, firstly because it is so well shot and secondly because even though we have no liking for the main characters, interest in the pending exhibition or even the fate of the architect, we are drawn, as in some Shakespeare play, into the doom laden pit of obsession and greed, if for no other reason than to gloat.

The musical score is stunning.

Let's not get over-excited here, people, just because the movie was made by a man who is considered avant-garde and whom it is hence forbidden to criticize too much (an unwritten rule in the hypothetical "Movie Buff's Guide Of Pretentious European Movies").

One of Greenaway's most accessible movies, TBOAA has an actual story-line (unlike the unwatchable "Prospero's Books"), and we actually get to see the faces of the actors (as opposed to "The Cook, The Thief, Some Cannibalism & Plenty Of Shouting from Gambon").

But, while some of the photography was nice and it did have a good score from one of the members of Kraftwerk, it was overall a little tedious for me.

Dennehy predictably gets cheated by his ugly wife, gets ill, has a brief and predictable fling with the sister of the guy who is screwing his wife, and then kills himself at the end.

May sound like turgid stuff but Greenaway keeps it fascinating.

It is also a social satire on difference between cultures but it is a compelling and moving story of one man's descending to chaos, hopelessness, despair, and eventually death.

Undoubtedly one of the worst movies I have ever seen.