The Belly of an Architect (1987) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Belly of an Architect1987

The Belly of an Architect (1987)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Belly of an Architect Photos

Movie Info

American architect Stourley Kracklite (Brian Dennehy) comes with his young wife Louisa (Chloe Webb) to Rome to supervise an exhibition devoted to Etienne-Louis Boullée, a French architect of the 18th century. Suffering from severe abdominal pains, Stourley doesn't pay much attention to his pregnant wife, and she finds consolation in the arms of suave Caspasian Speckler (Lambert Wilson). Built from rigidly symmetrical images, the film has quite an unusual subject: the belly -- both the sick one of the architect and the pregnant one of his wife, the rounded forms alluding to the spherical constructions designed by Boullée, the architect whose visionary projects seldom materialized. Beautifully shot on location in Rome, this ironic fable wittily examines the issues of artistic creativity.

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Brian Dennehy
as Stourley Kracklite
Chloe Webb
as Louisa Kracklite
Lambert Wilson
as Caspasian Speckler
Sergio Fantoni
as Io Speckler
Stefania Casini
as Flavia Speckler
Alfredo Varelli
as Julio Ficcone
Rita Furlan
as Violinist
Marino Masé
as Trettorio
Marne Maitland
as Battistino
Rate Furlan
as Violinist
Julian Jenkins
as Old Doctor
Riccardo Ussani
as Little Boy
Stefano Gragnani
as The Nose Man
Andrea Prodan
as Young Doctor
Fabio Sartor
as Policeman
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Critic Reviews for The Belly of an Architect

All Critics (13)

[Brian] Dennehy is outstanding as a man out of his element, and the cinematic rendering of Rome's classic structures is a visual feast.

April 20, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Presumptuous, cold, and distant. [Full Review in Spanish]

April 3, 2020 | Full Review…

Dennehy achieves Brando-esque emotional power.

April 9, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

There's a good deal here to relish, even if the piece as a whole eventually descends into the same hermetic serialism of motifs that has consumed most of Greenaway's pictures.

August 28, 2004 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Brian Dennehy gives a towering performance as a middle-aged architect in Rome on a special project that becomes an obsession.

July 3, 2004 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The most telling parallel is that between Kracklite, with his perpetual stomach upset, and director Greenaway: Both are pretentious gasbags.

June 25, 2004 | Rating: 1/5

Audience Reviews for The Belly of an Architect


A Belly of transgression.Snatching Mertens,offering Dennehy his must-see performance and yes folks,this is Peter Greenaway,out of the best directors working in and most importantly for cinema.Gasping with awe,the appropriate toast to a twisting little diamond from Albion.Nations,personalities collide with misery and treachery.Amongst 87's works of art for sure.

Dimitris Springer
Dimitris Springer

Super Reviewer

The Belly of an Architect Quotes

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