sex, lies, and videotape

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Screenwriters: Steven Soderbergh

Institute History


An audacious debut from first-time feature director Steve Soderbergh, sex, lies, and videotape explores the dark side of husband’s and wife’s relationship. Elegantly paced and sparsely framed, this is a psychological drama with a unique point of view. John (Peter Gallagher) and Ann (Andie MacDowell) are a seemingly happy married couple. They have a charming house, his career is taking off, and she—at his request—is a housewife. But Ann’s sister, Cynthia (Laura San Giacomo) is having a torrid affair with John.

Then John and Ann are visited by Graham (James Spader) an old college friend who has just moved to town. An odd, remote and enigmatic character, Graham has not pushed himself as energetically as John has; he prefers a low-key life style. Ann finds herself strangely attracted to him. John eventually discards Graham as a friend, finding him too offbeat, but Ann maintains her relationship with him until he forces her to explore feelings that she has hitherto denied. As the story unfolds, Graham acts as a catalyst, causing both sisters to come to terms with their sexual identities and relationship to each other. The ending is gripping, and may even serve as an impetous for viewers to reexamine their own lives and relationships.

— Marjorie Skouras

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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