The Scenic Route

Watch The Scenic Route

  • NR
  • 1978
  • 1 hr 16 min
  • 7.0  (187)

Making relationships work is murder, sometimes literally, in Mark Rappaport's 1978 feature, a Strindbergian battle between (and within) the sexes that filters melodrama through the gallery sensibility of 1970s video art and myriad other cultural reference points. Coolly self-possessed Estelle (Randy Danson), on the rebound from a bitterly terminated marriage, finds brief new partnership in the company of Paul (Kevin Wade). That affair is already past when she has another companion uneasily forced on her with the surprise arrival of Lena (Marilyn Jones), an unstable, formerly institutionalized sister who's apparently killed a man with a kitchen knife. As much rivals as confidantes, the two women make queasy housemates, especially once Lena's casual pickups encompass her sister's ex-husband and, later, Paul. The latter sticks around to form a tense ménage à trois in psychological if not necessarily physical terms. Violence always seems just around the corner in this world where love is inseparable from suspicion and hostility, and where attraction to other people fights the self-preserving instinct to stay alone. Underlining the characters' disconnect are the environments they inhabit, which are changeable and illusory (Rappaport's love of projections is fully present here). But then our protagonists themselves are objets d'art subject to a creator's whims, whether they listen intently to grand opera, mimic famous paintings or dance at an incongruous length. - Dennis Harvey

The Scenic Route
Description
Making relationships work is murder, sometimes literally, in Mark Rappaport's 1978 feature, a Strindbergian battle between (and within) the sexes that filters melodrama through the gallery sensibility of 1970s video art and myriad other cultural reference points. Coolly self-possessed Estelle (Randy Danson), on the rebound from a bitterly terminated marriage, finds brief new partnership in the company of Paul (Kevin Wade). That affair is already past when she has another companion uneasily forced on her with the surprise arrival of Lena (Marilyn Jones), an unstable, formerly institutionalized sister who's apparently killed a man with a kitchen knife. As much rivals as confidantes, the two women make queasy housemates, especially once Lena's casual pickups encompass her sister's ex-husband and, later, Paul. The latter sticks around to form a tense ménage à trois in psychological if not necessarily physical terms. Violence always seems just around the corner in this world where love is inseparable from suspicion and hostility, and where attraction to other people fights the self-preserving instinct to stay alone. Underlining the characters' disconnect are the environments they inhabit, which are changeable and illusory (Rappaport's love of projections is fully present here). But then our protagonists themselves are objets d'art subject to a creator's whims, whether they listen intently to grand opera, mimic famous paintings or dance at an incongruous length. - Dennis Harvey

The Scenic Route is a 1978 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 16 minutes. It has received poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0.

Where to Watch The Scenic Route

The Scenic Route is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download on demand at Fandor. Some platforms allow you to rent The Scenic Route for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.

  • Release Date
    1978
  • MPAA Rating
    NR
  • Runtime
    1 hr 16 min
  • Language
    English
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (187)