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…
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…
Dat ass Tina
Great performance by Gena Rowlands (albeit being a little melodramatic at some points) as well as Peter Falk, who shifted from victim to villain within the same scene.
An uncomfortably close look at family dynamics between the couple and their children.
The last 30 minutes of the film are tense and anxiety-ridden.
What to make of a film like John Cassavetes’s powerful drama A Woman Under the Influence? More often than not, the viewer is left emotionally and physically drained once the film is over. It is a tumultuous and stressful experience in and of itself. Stars Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk go to extreme lengths to procure the emotions that are eventually committed on film, and the results are dazzling. It is such an overwhelming film on first viewing, I would argue, that one can only do justice to it and to writer-director John Cassavetes by watching it again (later rather than sooner) and paying attention to the subtle nuances, the inflections, the changes in movements, the relationships between each character.…
Gena Rowlands gives a powerhouse of a performance in a film that paved the way for New Hollywood.
The title of Cassavetes’ most well known film is appropriate in its ambiguity. What influence? What woman? Mabel Longhetti should not be consigned to simple categorizations, but it can be said that she is a human, a person, and a woman. With strong physical gestures and untamed words, Mabel displays her humanity more than most people do, more than people “are supposed to.” Watching A Woman Under the Influence is not an easy task, calling for discipline more than patience, as Mabel misinterprets and is in turn misinterpreted by her husband’s coworkers, her family, and her doctor. I will provide some thoughts first on the film’s structure, characters, and style before examining the intuitive and revolutionary role it sets for…
A film about a woman who behaves very strangely and just doesn't seem to fit in with everyone else.
I heard this film mentioned in a review on Letterboxd and discovered that it was generally very well received.
Just looking at the trailer I could tell that Gena Rowlands is an extremely compelling figure. She is utterly bonkers here. Hee.behaviour is so erratic it's difficult to tell whether she's bi-polar, an alcoholic, just socially awkward, or all three.
Perhaps she's just finding it hard to cope with being Columbo's wife? Actually Columbo (by which I mean the actor Peter Falk) is pretty good as the well-meaning husband who becomes violent when exasperated (as opposed to being simply a maliciously abusive…
Absolutely brilliant. I thought Love Streams was great but I liked this way more. The subject matter is handled with perfection, and is probably the most unsentimental american film I've ever seen on something that revolves around mental illness and it's effect on a relationship and other people involved. The direction is on the money for every scene, the camera is placed to perfection constantly and the performances Cassavetes gets out of his actors are out of this world. Gena Rowlands gives one of the strongest performances I've ever seen in this. The long sequences that build tension and unease are totally captivating. It definitely feels like a movie with a lot to say, without saying it out-right. If something with the same subject was made today it would most likely be heavy handed awards bait fare, but what Cassavetes made was essentially the antithesis of that. Also, this had one of my favourite endings probably. So great.
Instead of going out and having fun on a Saturday evening I chose to get punched in the stomach a dozen times by watching this movie. It will take time to recover but this is one of the best movies ever. period.
The simplicity of the style makes everything seem more immediate. The story feels claustrophobic because we can't sense the deliberateness in its motions. Makes it more effective. All the actors seem to play caricatures, but since they all are playing their roles to the nth degree, it feels sincere. If anyone was at a different level, they would stick out. A kind of new reality is formed.
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…