As storytelling it isn't always as clean as it might be, but this first feature by writer-director Lisa Cholodenko is an interesting debut for its nuanced sense of character and its terrific sex scenes--scenes that actually serve character development for a change. A 24-year-old assistant editor (Radha Mitchell, shedding her Australian accent) at a chic photography magazine shares an apartment with her boyfriend but becomes infatuated with an older woman from a well-to-do family (Ally Sheedy), who occupies the apartment over hers; once a well-known art photographer, the woman now inhabits a drug scene and lives with an addicted German actress. When she and the young editor start having an affair, neither is quite sure what's happening at first--and to Cholodenko's credit neither are we. With Patricia Clarkson, Bill Sage, and Tammy Grimes. Music Box, Friday through Thursday, July 3 through 9. --Jonathan Rosenbaum
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.