Three of Hearts

Institute History

  • 1993 Sundance Film Festival


Yurek Bogayevlcz, who established his talent as a sensitive and textural director with Anna, continues his success with Three of Hearts. A sensual love triangle involving two women and one man, this film is suspenseful, exciting and ultimately heartwarming.

Billy Baldwin plays Joe Casella, a New York City bachelor with the usual host of problems. He's juggling hundreds of women, but wouldn't know love if he fell over it. He's convinced he can bring any woman to her knees—anywhere at anytime. Of course he never met someone like Connie (Kelly Lynch), who's beautiful, bright and independent. And to make things more complicated, he never met anyone like Ellen (Cherilyn Fenn), who's equally as wonderful. The fun begins here, because Connie and Ellen never met women like each other, either. Connie hires Joe to escort her to a family wedding, never expecting him to become a friend and confidante, and Ellen teaches Joe that love can be found in the most unusual of places.

Bogayevicz is without a doubt an actor's director. Each scene is dramatically fine-tuned, and the performances are excellent. Billy Baldwin plays a hustler, but manages to drip with charm and integrity. Both women give intelligent performances: Fenn's performance is notable for its innocent sexuality, and Lynch's for its brutal honesty and ease. The actors and the city are gorgeous, a tribute to the production as a whole.

The tightly crafted screenplay by Greenman and Epstein handles some intense story points with sensitivity and believability, The plot deals with homosexuality and heterosexuality without pitting one against the other or prioritizing either choice. Avoiding stereotypes at every turn, the writers are able to laugh at the issues that arise out of conflicting sexual preferences. Bogayevicz brings life to the story's sexuality without bleaching out any of its color.

Three of Hearts is a love story for the nineties. People come and go from relationships, carrying baggage of every type, and this film reveals a world where people are able to accept that.

Friday Jan 29 7:00 pm
Egyptian Theatre

Saturday Jan 30 9:30 am
Prospector Square Theatre


— Catherine Schulman

Screening Details

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