Klute tracks Bree Daniels (Jane Fonda), a Manhattan prostitute and aspiring actress in search of herself. Small-town private eye John Klute (Donald Sutherland) arrives in Manhattan to find that Bree is the only lead in the disappearance of his good friend Tom Gruneman. Bree turns tricks for cash and a need for emotional freedom, wishing to remain unattached and in control. However, as she becomes involved in Klute's search and realizes she too is in danger.
Jane Fonda is the biggest reason to see this role. The film is not explicit in showing her profession, but by her words, her movements, and her actions, you know as much as you need to on how hard her life is. The thriller aspects of the film are okay, not great. The ending is a little ambiguous if you aren't paying attention. While Sutherland is good at portraying a detective that becomes emotionally involved with his case, it's still Fonda's film.
Jane Fonda won an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in "Klute." The film was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay.
"Intelligence. I suppose that's the word. In "Klute" you don't have two attractive acting vacuums reciting speeches at each other. With Fonda and Sutherland, you have actors who understand and sympathize with their characters, and you have a vehicle worthy of that sort of intelligence. So the fact that the thriller stuff doesn't always work isn't so important. " - Roger Ebert