- 1 hr 45 min
Health is a satirical movie that takes a sharp and humorous look at the American health care industry in the late 1970s. Directed by Robert Altman, the movie features an impressive ensemble cast, including Carol Burnett, Glenda Jackson, James Garner, Lauren Bacall, and Diane Lane. The movie is set in a luxurious health spa called the "Health Center," located in a remote desert location in California. The center is owned by Isabella Garnell (Bacall), a wealthy and powerful woman who believes in aggressive and innovative health care practices that often veer into pseudoscience.
Isabella is hosting a Health Convention at the center, which attracts a diverse group of attendees, including politicians, health care experts, journalists, and even a Hollywood starlet named Sally (Lane). Each character has their own agenda and motive for attending the convention, and their paths often cross and intersect in unexpected ways.
Among the attendees are a group of reporters led by characters played by Carol Burnett and Glenda Jackson. These reporters are determined to expose any shady or unethical practices happening at the Health Center, and they quickly uncover various skeletons in the closet, including a cover-up of a disastrous medical experiment and dubious financial dealings.
Meanwhile, James Garner plays an ambitious senator who is angling for the presidency and sees the Health Convention as an opportunity to make a name for himself by promoting his own health care reform bill. However, his idealism clashes with the cynicism and pragmatism of other politicians, who are more interested in placating the powerful Isabella and not rocking the boat.
As the various plotlines unfold, the movie deftly skewers the politics, absurdity, and greed of the American health care system. It also touches on broader themes such as the power dynamics between the rich and powerful and the media, as well as the often-cynical nature of politics and the tendency of people to prioritize their own self-interest over the greater good.
One of the movie's strengths is its ability to balance humor and satire with more serious themes and intense dramatic moments. The cast is uniformly excellent, with standout performances from Burnett, Jackson, and Garner, who all bring nuance and depth to their complex and flawed characters. The writing is sharp and witty, full of memorable one-liners and hilarious set pieces that serve to puncture the pomposity and self-importance of the various characters.
While the movie is set in the 1970s, many of its themes and critiques of the health care industry are still relevant today, making it a timeless and insightful piece of satire. Health is a funny, smart, and ultimately thought-provoking movie that manages to entertain while also shining a light on some of the most pressing issues of our time.
Health is a 1979 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 45 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.6.