This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
A Woman Under the Influence
Nick is a blue collar man trying to deal with his wife's mental instability. He fights to keep a semblance of normality in the face of her bizarre behavior, but when her actions affect their children, he has her committed.
A devastating masterwork of one woman's downward spiral and a dry, humanist deconstruction of acceptable social politics. It is a film about family, commitment, desperation, redemption, endurance and the struggles of the working class. It is a film that sucked me right in with jaw-loosening, goosebumps-inducing acting. Gena Rowlands transforms herself. She becomes the distraught Mabel, an unimaginable character. It is so unconventional and uncompromising what she does in the first half, slowly losing her sense of "normal" public and private behavior. Her performance is nothing short of astonishing. Is she becoming mentally ill, or has she always been this way? Is she really mentally sick at all? The conclusion of her mental state lays entirely on the viewer. This…
Hate repeating old party lines on Letterboxd (is there anything more pointless than 100 reviews that all say “X actor really gives his/her all!”?), but must admit how much I’m struck by the control of Cassavetes’s camera in every scene; the incorrectly assumed improvisation is really the work of a master. What is more striking is that most of the important visual information is often teetering on the edges of the frame. One really great example is when Mabel goes to the bar. On the bottom of the frame, her hand pops in and out just enough so we can glimpse her ring finger. The hand goes away just as the bartender replaces that part of the image with the…
An occasionally riveting, but mostly insufferable, cinematic experience. Being my first Cassavetes film, I certainly admired the craft and the rambling energy of his camera, and the two lead performances are beyond words in their intimacy and their harshness, but I was never fully invested or even interested in what was unfolding.
I could make the argument that the film's long-winded set-piece moments don't work alongside its confined intensity, or that the film isn't so much a slow-burn as it is a car slowly running out of gas, but I really have no point in saying that because of my total indifference to the whole experience. I "get" the film, but it felt more like an errand.
I'm not sure if I can even begin to describe my sheer amazement at Gena Rowlands nuanced performance or my deep admiration for the realism of John Cassavetes. In many regards, I think one could almost classify A Woman Under the Influence as a kitchen sink drama with its domestic tension and entrapped claustrophobic character entanglements. Obviously the domestic aspect is of how small scale the film is set and those involved but I think Cassavete's realism shines through how he frames his characters as well. Rowlands descent into insanity is all the more amplified by how her real life husband Cassavete's films her in close ups while everyone else is usually at a distance. Perhaps signifying their distance in…
There’s nothing I love more in a movie than watching the slow, slow deterioration of a beautiful person. It’s the sort of bittersweet satisfaction of exploring the mind without having to focus in on your own. Cassavetes does that here in what feels almost like a therapy session you were forced into but one you realize you desperately need. The story he presents is simple: a mother struggling with mental illness and addiction attempts to please her family and friends but in effect reveals her crumbling psychological state. The film invites the audience to be a part of this family, really this community, and decide how they can help and what their responsibilities are in the care of this “delicate,…
All of a sudden, I miss everyone...
There's something special about John Cassavetes that makes me love his films. Perhaps its the natural feeling that is always present in his films, like how the characters are talking naturally like it's every day life. You feel like you aren't simply watching a movie, but rather having a personal experience. These experiences are only magnified by magnificent performances from the likes of Gena Rowlands, Peter Falk, and even Cassavetes himself. The way he uses his actors in each of his films brings an impressive end product and extremely memorable films overall.
A Woman Under the Influence concerns a husband and wife named Nick and Mabel Longhetti (Rowlands and Falk). He is an…
Probably the greatest American film ever made.
35mm - Metrograph
How to put it...in this movie I did not know whether I was crazy or she was crazy. The interpretation was amazing, insanity at its finest form.
A harrowing examination of social structure and mental instability led by relentless performances from Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk.
Pessoalidade nos closes e verdade nas mentiras, um filme tomado por atuações e intimidade se torna uma obra que explode sinceridade.
It's strange to call this Cassavetes' best film - I don't think it's his most formally challenging work, nor his most personal work, nor the purest distillation of his style (though with all three considerations we're dealing with a matter of small degrees). It is his most emotionally resonant work, however, and the one I would point to as the best starting point for beginners. Partially, that's because it's about as agreeable a work as Cassavetes ever made, save for his Hollywood efforts - this is a noble subject, a hot button topic with inherent moral value. Thus, it's very easy to justify his formal innovations, since his jumpy, fractured style and out-there characterizations seem rather organic to a story…
This is exactly what I had hoped for with Shadows and Faces. Cassavettes' personal and Cinéma vérité style really works here, and is boosted by the subject matter. Where Shadows and Faces seemed, meandering, A Woman Under the Influence feels delirious and heartfelt.
Feelin inspired after watching this. Really powerful film. I know a lot of people say that Cassavetes films are technically bad and ugly, and sure not every shot or cut in this film is perfect, but I think this film has a great look to it and some beautiful shots. Incredible filmmaking. A lot of heart. People who say otherwise are probably dickhead "by the books" film teachers and nerds.
I think some time could've been shaved off the first half and more time spent from the point that Mabel gets committed and when she gets back home. Would've loved to see a bit more of the family and how it affected the kids, as well as a bit more…
This portrait of chaos, mental illness and dysfunctionality within family is amazing, and Gena Rowlands delivers some of the best acting I've ever seen. The fact that John Cassavettes stopped her in the middle of a scene because he thought she had gone crazy for real says it all. He couldn't even tell that his own wife was acting. Amazing!
Movies that are slightly off.
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…