Six Degrees Of Separation

  • 1993
  • Movie
  • R
  • Comedy, Drama

Witty, wordy, well-acted satire of contemporary class and race relations, based on John Guare's acclaimed stage play. Art dealers Ouisa and Flan Kittredge (Stockard Channing, Donald Sutherland) are entertaining a rich South African business partner (Ian McKellen) in their posh Fifth Avenue apartment when a suave and personable young black man bursts in....read more

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Witty, wordy, well-acted satire of contemporary class and race relations, based on John Guare's acclaimed stage play.

Art dealers Ouisa and Flan Kittredge (Stockard Channing, Donald Sutherland) are entertaining a rich South African business partner (Ian McKellen) in their posh Fifth Avenue apartment when a suave and personable young black man bursts in. Paul (Will Smith), who claims to be the son of Sidney

Poitier and a college friend of the Kittredges' children, says he's been wounded by muggers. By the end of the evening he has charmed the initially suspicious Kittredges with his culinary and elocutionary talents--so much so that they invite him to stay the night. The next morning, however, they

discover Paul in bed with a man he has picked up on the street and throw him out. But that's only the beginning of their involvement with this offbeat confidence man.

Channing holds this sometimes stagy movie together in the pivotal role of Ouisa, the Park Avenue matron who ultimately snaps when Paul makes her realize the ways in which her privileged status has isolated her from the rest of humanity. It is she who invokes the film's title, referring to an old

conversational gambit to the effect that any two people in the world can be linked together by a chain of no more than six relationships. For a mainstream Hollywood production, the film is refreshingly frank about race and class in the US; for a darker, more acerbic variation on the same theme,

see Wendell B. Harris's brilliant CHAMELEON STREET (1991).

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  • Released: 1993
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Witty, wordy, well-acted satire of contemporary class and race relations, based on John Guare's acclaimed stage play. Art dealers Ouisa and Flan Kittredge (Stockard Channing, Donald Sutherland) are entertaining a rich South African business partner (Ian… (more)

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