knowing by heart

Playing by Heart

Playing by Heart is a 1998 comedy-drama film, which tells the story of several seemingly unconnected characters.


Among the characters are a mature couple about to renew their vows (Sean Connery and Gena Rowlands); an anti-social woman (Gillian Anderson) who accepts a date offer from a stranger (Jon Stewart); a man dying of AIDS (Jay Mohr) and his mother (Ellen Burstyn) who has struggled to accept him; two clubbers who meet in a nightclub (Ryan Phillippe and Angelina Jolie); a couple having an affair (Anthony Edwards and Madeleine Stowe) and a man (Dennis Quaid) who tells his tragic life story to a woman he meets in a bar (Patricia Clarkson), but seems to have a strange connection to another mysterious woman. As the film continues and the stories evolve, the connections between the characters - both literal and subtextual - become evident. Kellie Waymire, Nastassja Kinski, Amanda Peet and Michael Emerson also have roles in the film.


Jolie won an award for "Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actress" from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, and writer/director Willard Carroll was nominated for an award at the Berlin International Film Festival.

The soundtrack includes songs by Morcheeba, Bonnie Raitt, Bran Van 3000, Edward Kowalczyk of Live, Neneh Cherry and Moby. Executive producers include Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein, for Miramax Films.

In some regions, the film was released under the title Intermedia. The original US title was "Dancing About Architecture".

Hilary Duff has a small part in the movie as one of the character's children, although her part is uncredited.

Jon Stewart plays an architect in the movie; his film home is the Stahl House.

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