Mortal Thoughts (1991)

Directed by Alan Rudolph
Written by William Reilly, Claude Kerven
Produced by Joseph M. Caracciolo Jr., John Fiedler, Mark Tarlov, Demi Moore, Stuart Benjamin, Taylor Hackford
Starring Demi Moore, Glenne Headly, Harvey Keitel, Bruce Willis, John Pankow, Billie Neal, Kelly Cinnante, Frank Vincent, Christopher Scotellaro, Karen Shallo, Crystal Field, Larry Attile, Roger Shamas, Star Jasper, Julie Garfield, John Descano

Who slew the lewd, abusive, loutish, coke-crazed husband (Willis) of a hairdresser (Headly)? The chief suspects interrogated by two detectives (Keitel, Neal) are the sleazy deceased’s widow and her best friend and employee (Moore), whose account of what might’ve been manslaughter seems to consort with the facts….to a point. Moore poured herself into the lead of her productional foray, and she’s viscerally believable at the head of a mostly solid cast, maugre a few overacted moments by Keitel and Headley, whose part might’ve been better assigned to Keitel’s girlfriend Lorraine Bracco, or Illeana Douglas. Rudolph’s direction is more polished than for his pictures in the ’80s, and complemented by Elliot Davis’s richly balanced photography, which seems wasted on dumpy localities in the Garden State. Convolutions of Reilly’s and Kerven’s plot are cleverly kinked in cutbacks, but for their indulgent superfluity and frequent slo-mo, this runs 15 minutes overlong. A modest success for its stars’ conjoint celebrity, it was too sordid a project for Moore and Willis at the height of their marriage and careers.

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