The Big Picture

Watch The Big Picture

"Film school prepared Nick for everything... everything but Hollywood."
  • PG-13
  • 1989
  • 1 hr 40 min
  • 6.2  (6,121)
  • 64

The Big Picture is a 1989 satirical comedy-drama film, directed by Christopher Guest and starring Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Emily Longstreth, and Michael McKean. The film revolves around Nick Chapman (Kevin Bacon), a young, ambitious film student who dreams of making it big in Hollywood as a director. Nick finally achieves his dream when he wins a prestigious film award for his student film and a Hollywood producer named Allen Habel (J.T. Walsh) offers him a chance to direct a major studio film.

The film takes us through Nick's experiences as he moves from being an unknown film student to a Hollywood director overnight. Nick finds out that the film industry is not what he expected it to be, with its greed, jealousy, and the constant need to please the financiers. The Big Picture is a scathing critique of the film industry, revealing the harsh realities behind the glitz and glamour.

Nick's journey is not without its setbacks, however. When he begins to worry that he has sold out to the commercial interests of his producers at the expense of his artistic vision, he tries to reconcile his artistic ambitions with the realities of commercial filmmaking. He also finds love along the way in the form of his assistant, Susan Rawlings (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who becomes his collaborator and conscience.

The film's supporting cast is equally strong, with Emily Longstreth portraying Nick's girlfriend, Lydia Johnson, and Michael McKean playing Neil Sussman, Nick's agent. The film also features a few cameos from famous Hollywood personalities, including Martin Short and Roddy McDowall.

The Big Picture's screenplay is intelligent and witty, with many hilarious one-liners and well-executed gags that will have audiences laughing out loud. Despite its comedic tone, the film also raises important questions about the importance of artistic integrity versus commercial success, and the corrupting influence of Hollywood on creative vision.

The performances are uniformly excellent, with Kevin Bacon giving a standout performance as Nick. Bacon does an excellent job of portraying the character's struggles with his artistic ambitions versus commercial pressures, and his transformation from a naive film student to a seasoned director is convincing and compelling.

Jennifer Jason Leigh also shines as Susan, who provides a strong, relatable voice of reason for Nick throughout his journey. Her chemistry with Bacon is palpable, and their scenes together are some of the film's most effective.

The film's visual style is also noteworthy, with director Christopher Guest using creative camera angles and lighting to give the film a distinct look that sets it apart from other comedies of its time. The film's soundtrack, featuring songs by Steely Dan and other artists, also adds to its unique vibe.

Overall, The Big Picture is an entertaining and thought-provoking film that offers a satirical take on the film industry's inner workings. It features strong writing, excellent performances, and a distinctive visual style that make it a standout in the crowded field of '80s comedies.

The Big Picture is a 1989 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 40 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.2 and a MetaScore of 64.

The Big Picture
Where to Watch The Big Picture
The Big Picture is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Big Picture for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 40 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.2  (6,121)
  • Metascore