A self-professed social butterfly (Shelly Duvall) takes on a shy, childlike girl (Sissy Spacek) as a roommate and protege at the spa she works at in the California desert. After a traumatic incident and hospitalization, the two apparently switch roles and following a stillborn birth, the two seem to form a surrogate family with the mute, middle-aged woman (Janice Rule) who paints bizarre, tribal murals on the apartment complex's pool floor. 3 Women is a hypnotic, murky, unconventional, and extremely strange film that Robert Altman claimed came to him in a dream, the effect of which is conveyed brilliantly through the direction and artistry, and owes more than a little to Persona. Spacek and Duvall's performances are complex and sublimely executed.
**** out of ****