Alice Tate, mother of two, with a marriage of 16 years, finds herself falling for the handsome sax player, Joe. Stricken with a backache, she consults Dr. Yang, an oriental herbalist who realizes that her problems are not related to her back, but in her mind and heart. Dr. Yang's magical herbs give Alice wondrous powers, taking her out of well-established rut.
Part of **No ReWatch November 2012**.
A slow-moving meditation on happiness and fulfillment. It's gorgeous, of course, filled with lovely colors and New York street scenes and a jazz soundtrack.
Mia Farrow can definitely deliver Woody's dialogue in the classic "Woody Allen" style -- although the insecurity and self-deprecating commentary sounds especially sad-sacky coming from a beautiful, impeccably dressed woman.
I think I might come to really like this one after another watch or two.
I just can't help it...I absolutely love this film. Probably my second favorite Woody Allen film.
Mia Farrow impresses me with almost everything she has ever done and her performance in this film is fantastic. I'm not saying this is her best role in Allen's films but it's my second favorite after Broadway Danny Rose. I especially love the scene when she's talking to Joe Mantegna at the school and she's talking in a very seductive sexy manner. If any woman talked to me that way I would cease to be solid matter. She's just perfect in every scene and it's so fulfilling to see her finally come out of her shell and stand up for herself at the end…
Woody Allen had dealt with combining the fantastical with the real world before in the magnificent Purple Rose of Cairo, but with Alice he employs the technique towards one of his more somber overall pictures. Once again starring his former muse Mia Farrow, the film centers on an upper-class Manhattan housewife as she considers having an affair with a handsome man (Joe Mantegna) she encounters when picking her children up from school. Motivated by friends to go and see a faith healer named Dr. Yang (Keye Luke, in what would be his last film appearance), she is given herbs which give her the motivation to strike up a romance with this man and begin to reconsider her life at large.…
I am not a Woody Allen fan by any means but this was just too much for even me. I am not a fan of people cheating on each other and thatnis all this film is about...only in a comedy?
I didn't feel anything was really very funny and while Farrow was pretty solid, she'd start acting like Woody at times and that was annoying. Pretty much the rest of the cast is underwritten and under used.
The score annoyed me a lot. It was way to fun sounding for such a dark subject.
And all the fantasy stuff just took me out of the story. Just wasn't for me.
I feel like Alice goes places that many Woody Allen movies have gone before and after (infidelity, etc.) but the other stuff (a Chinese "doctor" who gives her herbs that can make her turn invisible, attract men, etc.) isn't strong enough to make me go willingly along for the familiar ride.
It's hard to differentiate the Woody Allen films that work for me from those that don't because the moving parts are essentially the same. The differences are small. It's often slight variations in the way the central character(s) is/are portrayed that make the difference.
After thinking about it for a minute, though I think I've got formula that mostly explains which Woody Allen films I like.
Woody Allen filmography - political satires - Bergmanian dramas - Larry David - Will Farrell - idealization of extramarital sex = 18 films I really like that focus mostly on anxiety and nostalgia
Some of Allen's wittiest, funniest dialogue, and also one of his most clever and most optimistic films. The scene when Farrow is high while she makes advances towards the saxophone player while using jazz double entendres is comic gold. Alec Baldwin as a self-centered ghost, spying on people while invisible and then awkwardly reappearing, comic flashbacks to family arguments, Bernadette Peters as a muse who advises Farrow in one scene with Gwen Verdon- it all works brilliantly. And I completely bought the sentimental/spiritual ending about what's most important in life.
I absolutely loved the entire film.
Certainly an interesting concept here, and a nice cast to play it out. But this one may be a half hour too long.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
One of the things I have come to appreciate the most while going through Woody Allen’s filmography is the way he successfully embraces magical realism. Some of my favorite Allen films tend to lean this way. I went into ‘Alice’ completely blind and ended up being really charmed by this whimsical yarn. After ‘Purple Rose’, this may be my favorite Mia Farrow performance in an Allen movie. The ding I hear most often on Allen’s films, other than that they are too white (totally agree), is that they deal too exclusively with the plight of high society folks living on the Upper West Side. When ‘Alice’ began and it looked like another film about a rich white person I was…
A truly brilliant and majestic film from Woody Allen about a rich housewife's life unraveling as she starts to find herself again as it features a winning performance from Mia Farrow as the titular character.
What begins as a typical neurotic high class Woody Allen fable, transcends into a whacky and silly ode to Woody's early 70s full blown comedies. It doesn't mix perfectly well at times, but Mia Farrow's first class performance keeps it watchable and hugely entertaining. I felt conflicted by the message. Is Woody saying women aren't strong enough for self-discovery on their own?