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pakula's film is not so much a mystery or suspense piece as it is a character exploration. fonda is in top form as the emotionally detached yet volatile, vulnerable bree daniels and sutherland is a great counterpoint as the cool, levelheaded detective john klute. the two meet when klute begins to investigate a string of call girl murders his dear friend may have committed. his search for the truth takes him deep in bree's former life as a call girl and eventually in to her present life as a struggling actress who is weary of new york city and its violent underbelly.
this is altman's 4th to last film and it is a wonderful black comedy that is set in the deep south. all types of mishaps, comic and poignant come about when elderly jewel mae orcutt(patricia neal) decides to join her husband buck in the afterlife.