Six Degrees of Separation (1993)

Six Degrees of Separation Poster

The story of a young, gay, black, con artist who, posing as the son of Sidney Poitier, cunningly maneuvers his way into the lives of a white, upper-class New York family.

Intro to "Six Degrees of Separation"
"Six Degrees of Separation" is a 1993 American comedy-drama film directed by Fred Schepisi, based on the 1990 play of the same name by John Guare. The movie explores styles of social class, art, authenticity, and human connection, adopting the hypothesis that everyone on the planet is linked by a chain of no more than six acquaintances, thus the title.

Plot Overview
The story revolves around Flan and Ouisa Kittredge, a wealthy New York City couple deeply associated with the arts and the high-society world. Their relatively common lives take a dogleg when a young man named Paul, who is worn a suit and bleeding, knocks on their door one night. Claiming to be a Harvard University classmate of their children's and the kid of Sidney Poitier, Paul impresses the Kittredges with his refined appeal and intelligence. He cooks a premium meal, regales them with stories of his thesis on "Catcher in the Rye" author, J.D. Salinger, and states anecdotes of his father's life.

Charmed by his cultured behavior and enticed by the guaranteed opportunity to be part of the film version of "Cats" that Sidney Poitier is presumably directing, the Kittredges welcome Paul to remain the night. Nevertheless, the next morning, they discover him in bed with a hustler, drastically shattering his fabricated image. After kicking him out, they discover that good friends of theirs have had a comparable encounter with Paul.

Styles and Social Commentary
As the Kittredges look into the secret of Paul's identity, they start questioning their own understandings of reality and artifice. The movie expertly weaves together these characters' lives, exposing the pretenses and veneers that mask their true selves. By appropriating styles of class differences and the power of storytelling, "Six Degrees of Separation" critiques the elitist worldview and exposes the social vulnerabilities of its characters.

Paul's capability to convincingly adopt the personality of a cultivated scholastic offspring is a testament to his skill and a review of the superficiality of the social spheres he infiltrates. The film uses Paul's character to challenge ideas of credibility and the worth people place on outside appearances and connections.

Through his interactions with the Kittredges and their high-society friends, Paul sheds light on the charade of social strata, revealing the artificial distinctions that govern relationships. His actions in the film catalyze self-reflection among the characters, triggering them to consider the nature of their relationships and the true extent of human connection.

Character Development and Performances
"Six Degrees of Separation" features strong performances from Stockard Channing as Ouisa and Donald Sutherland as Flan. Channing's representation, particularly, earned critical honor, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Will Smith, in among his early movie functions, plays the enigmatic and captivating Paul, delivering an advancement performance that helped shift his profession from tv to movie theater.

In conclusion, "Six Degrees of Separation" presents a thought-provoking expedition of the multifaceted connections in between people in society. Far ahead of its time in dissecting the nature of identity and opportunity, the movie touches upon the universal truth of interconnectivity in human relationships. By the story's end, the Kittredges and the audience are left to ponder over the beguiling concept that we are all simply a few social links far from each other. It's an engaging story that mixes wit, satire, and drama to leave a long lasting influence on its audiences.

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