All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
A Woman Under the Influence
Peter Falk 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…
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…
"Stand up for me"
The look and feel of this unbearably intense emotional drama is frankly stunning. At times I could barely breathe, but the presentation of this film is intoxicating.
Reminding of the later likes of Wenders and Cimino, I liked how it didn't take sides, all characters here have a perspective worth hearing. Falk and Rowlands at the epicentre give frighteningly real performances. Rowland's character I will never forget, a slightly emotionally unstable free spirit continually suffocated into a nervous breakdown by the social politics in her time and place. The rest of the characters try to get their heads around this character in their own way, with some more dismissively judgmental and destructive than others. The spectre…
Dat ass Tina
If you ever want to experience the cohesion of a director with his actors at its peak this is surely it. Both Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk out on life-changing performances which are captured and brought out perfectly by John Cassavetes. The emotional turmoil and the dark depths of the human mind are aired like dirty laundry in a truly disturbing but completely fascinating manor. The struggles and fights that mark the low-points of marriage and love is what gives birth to these performances of true realism by the two lead actors, and it is emotionally beautiful in the most depressing way possible. A truly amazing film.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Rowlands' performance made the film. However many scenes seem to be too drawn out, making for a sometimes laborious watch. I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the children's view of their mother versus everyone else; unconditional love versus love framed by society's behavioral norms. The way Nick's decision to commit Mabel turns around on him is effective. He realizes his love for Mabel cannot be separated from the personality which lent to her "unfit" behavior and ends up regretting the entire ordeal.
Might be worth a rewatch when I'm not tired.
I watched this thinking it would be the first in a rapid-fire Cassavettes marathon (I've only seen Shadows and it's blighted me for years), but I don't think I can bring myself to watch another anytime soon. 'A Woman Under the Influence' is exhaustingly powerful, I think largely due to the symbiosis between Cassavettes and his wife and star Gena Rowlands. Rowlands surely gives one of the great performances here, perhaps the best by any actress, as a wife and mother slowly draining herself and surrendering to mental sickness. I've listened to the arguments of those who think Rowlands overdoes the psychosis and I can't agree—she's spellbinding, and this picture is no I Am Sam. Cassavettes aids her by creating…
Cassavetes-Rowland at their nonpareil status. Filmmaking was rooted at guerilla best. Groundbreaking, almost taboo in nature, to set aside linear rules and apply reality check. Heartbreaking tragicomedy. A
....my God, what a movie.
Gena Rowlands could make a stone cry.
She gives what must be one of (if not THE) best sustained interpretations of a character ever recorded on film. Peter Falk matches her perfectly note-for-note. The emotional rollercoaster of Cassavetes' masterpiece takes you to unexpected places—to women you've known in your life, the housewives, the repressed individuals tettering between frustration and insanity that you never really think about because they look so happy and perky on the outside. Cassavetes' camera probes his subjects with deadly accuracy without seeming obtrusive.
Longer review forthcoming, but suffice it to say that this movie is a revelation: a gripping tragedy of suburbia with an unrelenting denouement.
It's clear early on that this is an actor's movie, with Rowlands and Falk at the top of their game, but what becomes apparent over the course of the film is that it's a director's movie as well. Many, long, engaging scenes that make it seem as if you are eavesdropping on a couple that love each other but are going trough some of the most challenging days of their relationship.
"I, uhh...I, uhh..."
The one case Columbo couldn't crack...was love. [Coming this summer in IMAX, IMAX 3D and other large-screen premium formats.]
Jeez, tough shit choosing *this* as my first John Cassavetes film. "A Woman Under the Influence" feels less like an entry point than it does a towering crowning achievement. I expected it to be super messy considering its running time of 155 minutes and the director's notorious love of actors and for improvisation, but goddamn, maybe it's just because I'm seeing this in the wake of the two-hour Hindi "Taxi Driver" musical earlier in the week but "Influence" effing *flew by*.
Cassavetes' "Scenes From a Marriage", a sprawling drama which only rarely touches on the unfortunate prefix…
young Gena Rowlands is possibly the best actor ever. she has no inner life. every part of her resonates outwardly. she's conveying a new paragraph every second, as well as thoughts that can't be written. she reflects worlds in her eyelids. see this for her.
i find the movie itself a bit of a mixed bag. the tragedy is laid on so thick that it's absurd for me. some of the situations are so bizarre and protracted, they're like cinematic run-on sentences written with a shitty pen. i don't know what to make of them. it's easy to drift in and out without missing anything. i really believe a 100 minute cut of this would be far superior, and sacrifice…
A Domestic Opera of devastating proportions
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…