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
Mabel, a mother and wife, is on the brink of insanity as her blue-collar husband Nick attempts to understand her plight.
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…
Dat ass Tina
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,…
A good movie, with great performances. But I did not enjoy watching it. Seems like it will be a good movie for me to revisit in a decade or so.
An instant favorite. Probably the best performances I have ever seen. It made Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolfe's acting look like The Room.
Gorgeous and heart wrenching. Most people I've spoken to about it have claimed that the film felt very theatrical to them (the script was indeed originally intended for the stage) and whilst I agree that there is stong Death of a Salesman vibe definitely in there to me the film felt very much at home in the cinematic medium. The camera work especially feels like it is undressing the world in a way that couldn't be replicated in the theatre. There are some scenes and pieces of dialogue that seem unnecessary that in the more show-don't-tell medium of cinema but other that those minor things I think this is a fantastic film with amazing performances (like really amazing) and meaning.
So apparently this was initially written as a play to be performed in the theatre but then made into a movie after that didn't end up happening, which makes a lot of sense when you watch it. I can't exactly explain how or why, but it just feels like you're watching a play. Gena Rowlands is absolutely incredible in this, and while on the whole it's not the easiest movie to watch, it tells an authentic if harsh human story about people and their flaws.
This fucks me up every single time. What am I to do with myself?
Gena Rowlands as Mabel is my favorite performance of all time.
Lord have mercy, Gena Rowlands is a force. I'd heard how great she was, what a powerful presence she was on screen. But good god, I was not prepared. This was a revelation.
Well, I can't "like" this film because it's yet another film where the sheer raw emotional power of the performances makes me profoundly uncomfortable. It is nevertheless a brilliant movie featuring two incredible performances.
A marriage enduring difficulty is the backdrop here, with the wife (Gena Rowlands) undergoing what would appear to be a psychotic break. It is one of the more moving and more grueling depictions of psychological trauma I've ever seen on screen and I'm not sure how Rowlands didn't win Best Actress for it. She's at times unnerving, quiet, raucous, and seemingly dangerous and she's convincing in every capacity.
Combine her with Peter Falk, a man who is in over his head when she's not around, and…
Dumb and masculine while trying to deal with a complex issue. Doing it very well
Everyone always says that Cassavetes films in general and this film in perticular feature realistic and/or naturalistic performance but I never found that to be the case. I find the dialogue atrocious and the acting stilted and uneven and completely unrealistic. No one I know acts or talks like they do in this movie even the people I know that are in similar situations. Even tho it was over long and boring in some parts it is worth watching.
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…