High Art (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

High Art (1998)



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

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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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Ally Sheedy
as Lucy Berliner
Bill Sage
as Arnie
Anh Duong
as Dominique
Ahn Duong
as Dominique
Helen Mendes
as White Hawk
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News & Interviews for High Art

Critic Reviews for High Art

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (12)

Ally Sheedy plays Lucy with a sexy grime.

March 29, 2021 | Full Review…

As well as its procession of downtown drug soirées, High Art offers one of the more sensitive on-screen depictions of lesbian sex in (relatively) mainstream cinema.

January 21, 2021 | Full Review…

[Ally Sheedy's] excellent as Berliner.

January 11, 2021 | 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.

April 11, 2018 | Full Review…

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.

December 5, 2006 | Rating: B+
Top Critic

Patricia Clarkson succeeds in creating a complete, complex character without ever overplaying the stoned behavior. Radha Mitchell is successful at suggesting the interaction of several motives: love, lust, curiosity, ambition, admiration.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for High Art


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 Strangeblog
Doctor Strangeblog

Super Reviewer

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 Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


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 Springer
Dimitris Springer

Super Reviewer

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