20 March 2017

ARROW ACADEMY PRESENTS: WOODY ALLEN'S 'ANOTHER WOMAN.' REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.




ANOTHER WOMAN. (1988) WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY WOODY ALLEN. CINEMATOGRAPHY BY SVEN NYKVIST. STARRING GENA ROWLANDS, IAN HOLM, GENE HACKMAN, MARTHA PLIMPTON, MIA FARROW AND BLYTHE DANNER. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

This is a sad film. Its ending is ultimately uplifting, and all the things happen by the time the ending comes that are supposed to happen, but I still think it's a sad film. Have you ever thought that you were doing okay in life, only to have your whole existence turned on its head by a single incident or a chance word? That's what happens in this film, one of Woody Allen's most thoughtful works, in my ever-so-humble opinion.

Gena Rowlands, in her one-and-only-ever film with Woody Allen, is the heroine and lead character in the film. She's American, of course, affluent and comfortably settled as per most of the lead characters in Mr. Allen's movies, and an intellectual. He always seems to write about intellectuals, doesn't he? It takes one to know one, I guess...!

Oh, and they all live in these gorgeous big brown apartments in these fabulous old brownstone buildings or apartment blocks like the one the guys from FRIENDS lived in. The action in ANOTHER WOMAN mostly takes place in grand old apartments exactly like these ones I've described.

They have big spacious rooms and people always eat dinner at a huge, properly set table in a separate dining-room. The table always has a proper cloth, with candles on it and a collection of pine cones and Fall foliage (it's always Fall in the films; at least that's what it always looks like, with all the delicious browns and oranges everywhere and everything!) as its eye-catching centrepiece.

Marion Post, for that's the name of our middle-aged leading lady, is a philosophy professor. She also writes books and is married to the original Bilbo Baggins from THE LORD OF THE RINGS, otherwise known as Ian Holm, who also co-starred with Johnny Depp in FROM HELL, that rather enjoyable Jack The Ripper movie.

Anyway, believe it or not, the prim, proper and respectable Marion actually seduced Bilbo away from his first wife, who was absolutely distraught about it. Bilbo, on the other hand, was surprisingly callous. Now Bilbo and Marion live together in one of these fine apartments we were talking about earlier.

They don't have sex anymore, but they dine out with friends every night, they attend dinner-parties where the conversation is mostly intellectual and they read intellectual books and are civilised and considerate with each other. Yeah, I know. I know. I see it too...!

Marion seldom seems to let her hair down. Indeed, how could she, when it's braided so tightly to her neat, tidy head? She's a lot like her elderly father, who has some terrible regrets to look back on in his own life. She has a brother she seldom sees and a step-daughter she sees often, but both consider her to be judgemental and therefore they fear her a little bit. They think she 'sets herself above everyone else' because she's so morally irreproachable herself, or so she thinks...

Marion decides to rent a flat elsewhere in town purely for the purposes of writing her latest book. Huh. It's well for some. The kitchen table suffices as my home office. Anyway, through the kind of extraordinary acoustical mishap that also occurs in a similar set of apartments in the excellent thriller SINGLE WHITE FEMALE, it turns out that she can hear every word that's being said in the shrink's office next door to her writing flat. Huh again to that. It's well for some,

The things she hears there make her re-evaluate her own life and decide that it's not nearly as perfect as she thought it was. This is a timely intervention as she's just turned fifty and is still young enough and well-preserved enough to start over again if she has to.

She has a few failed relationships in her past just like the rest of us do and she's made at least one mistake she deeply regrets. She may also have unwittingly done or said things that have hurt people and knowingly done things that have hurt others.

Is it too late for the repressed, maybe even de-pressed and tightly-buttoned-up Marion to turn things around...? We've all made mistakes, even me, haha. It'd be a pretty scary world if we couldn't put some of 'em right before we shuffle off our mortal coils and whatnot.

Mia Farrow is young, sweet-faced and beautiful as Hope, the young pregnant psychiatric client whose confessions in her therapy sessions have such a profound effect on Marion. Gene Hackman plays with sensitivity and depth the man who could really have made Marion happy. 

Martha Plimpton (wasn't she a member of the Brat Pack?) has a small role as the step-daughter Laura who loves Marion but who fears her disapproval and judgement when it comes to her (the step-daughter's) relationship with her boyfriend.

Gwyneth Paltrow's Mumsie Blythe Danner does a very naughty thing in this film. And as for Ian Holm, well, his character Ken is so morally weak and pathetic as to be almost despicable. Watch the film and you'll see what I mean. For all his culture and education and nights at the opera, he's just a dirty, lying, cheating hypocritical little louse.

Marion, while maybe deserving some karmic return for what she did with Bilbo to Bilbo's wife, can undoubtedly do better. Am I being too judgemental, too hard on Bilbo? Hmmm. Just watch the film and you can 'judge' for yourselves, haha. I'm afraid I haven't got much time, sympathy or pity for men who lie and cheat, even if they only do it in films. Too much water under my bridge...

This gorgeously reflective film is out on special release at the moment, along with another one of Woody Allen's movies, SEPTEMBER (1987), courtesy of ARROW ACADEMY. ARROW FILMS are doing a special season of seven Woody Allen releases at the moment, which should delight all the many fans of the iconic director's work. The films were all made between 1986 and 1991. I'll include a list of the films and their release dates below so that you guys can keep tabs on what's coming out when:

HANNAH AND HER SISTERS (1986) - 20TH FEBRUARY, 2017.
RADIO DAYS (1987) - 20TH FEBRUARY, 2017.
SEPTEMBER (1987) - 6TH MARCH, 2017.
ANOTHER WOMAN (1988) - 6TH MARCH, 2017.
CRIMES AND MISDEMEANOURS (1989) - 3RD APRIL, 2017.
ALICE (1990) - 3RD APRIL, 2017.
SHADOWS AND FOG (1991) - 3RD APRIL, 2017.

Don't ever let it be said that I don't love ye...!

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

 You can contact Sandra at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com







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