The Moderns (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Moderns (1988)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this witty comedy set in 1920s Paris, an art forger becomes involved with a complicated scheme involving several of his phony masterpieces. Things spin out of control, however, when the fakes are unknowingly sold to a wealthy businessman -- who also happens to be married to the forger's ex-wife.

Watch it now


Keith Carradine
as Nick Hart
Linda Fiorentino
as Rachel Stone
John Lone
as Bertram Stone
Geneviève Bujold
as Libby Valentin
Geraldine Chaplin
as Nathalie de Ville
Kevin J. O'Connor
as Ernest Hemingway
Elsa Raven
as Gertrude Stein
Ali Giron
as Alice B. Toklas
Gailard Sartain
as New York Critic
Michael Wilson
as Surrealist Poet
Lenie Scoffie
as Femme de Lettres
Pierre Chagnon
as Stone's Bodyguard #1
Ranee Lee
as Black Chanteuse
Bob Gould
as Blackie
Marthe Turgeon
as Proprietress
Harry Hill
as Mr. Brown
Brooke Smith
as Abigail
Timothy Webber
as Stone's Business Associate
Danielle Schneider
as Fille de Nuit
Hubert Loiselle
as Art Critic
Beverly Murray
as Eve (Group Montparno)
View All

Critic Reviews for The Moderns

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (6)

The movie's disparate elements are unified less by the plot than by Rudolph's distinctive, rhapsodic style, with its sinuous long takes and archly elusive performances.

April 30, 2018 | Full Review…

A movie that makes an afternoon with Gertrude and Alice more boring than a faculty tea.

August 4, 2003 | Rating: 1/5

It takes place at that enchanted moment in Paris when the Lost Generation created itself and then proceeded to create, promote, fabricate and publicize modern literature, art, music and attitudes.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Rudolph's weaknesses pale before the film's overriding textures: Toyomichi Kurita's cinematography exquisitely crosses color with sepia and blacks and whites.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Everything is ersatz, even the surrealism in Alan Rudolph's 10th movie.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Clearly flawed but definitely worthwhile, and it almost serves as a test run for Rudolph's other (and superior) film about intellectuals in the 1920s, 1994's Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle.

October 6, 2021 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Moderns

This is a fairly enjoyable tale set in the art world of 1920s Paris. The look of the film and the mood it creates are the most important things; far more important than the enjoyable, yet slow-moving plotline. It is highly imaginative and its representation of icons such as Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein add an extra dimension to the film. The only true weak points are some of the dialogues between the two leads; it is sometimes out of place and almost too 'modern'! All the performances are good but John Lone and Keith Carradine are especially suited to their parts.

Cassandra Maples
Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer


[font=Century Gothic]"The Moderns" takes place in 1920's Paris where Nick Hart(Keith Carradine) is a starving artist who makes his living drawing cartoons to accompany the columns written by Oiseau(Wallace Shawn) in the Tribune.(Taking the high road, he has declined a commission to forge three Cezanne paintings for a wealthy soon-to-be divorcee, Nathalie(Geraldine Chaplin).) Nick's former lover, Rachel(Linda Fiorentino), is in town, now married to a mysterious businessman, Bertram Stone(John Lone), who is rumored to have killed a man. So, of course, Nick slaps Rachel at the salon of Gertrude Stein(Elsa Raven). Since dueling is now out of fashion, Bertram and Nick instead agree to a boxing match...[/font] [font=Century Gothic]"The Moderns" has an interesting setting and a fine cast but both are wasted in what is little more than a penis-measuring contest between Nick and Bertram. The movie is about the neverending battle between commerce and art but by not making it specifically about creating art, the film misses out on what made Paris in the 1920's special. Keith Carradine's wooden performance only hurts matters.[/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

The Moderns Quotes

News & Features