The Sterile Cuckoo | Chicago Reader

The Sterile Cuckoo

Director Alan J. Pakula's first effort is so technically imprecise and understated that it has a kind of wistful charm—as if Wendell Burton, who plays the superstraight, mild-mannered preppie to Liza Minnelli's sad, quizzical, freaked-out emotional loser, had directed and written it himself. This is the film that established Liza Minnelli as the living Keane portrait, the compulsively talkative adolescent who's in pain and comes on freaky, and resulted in her overblown reputation as a heavy dramatic actress. Pakula has gone on to do better work (Klute) and Liza has her Oscar.

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