Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
Crimes and Misdemeanors
A film about humanity.
An opthamologist's mistress threatens to reveal their affair to his wife, while a married documentary filmmaker is infatuated by another woman.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
“God is a luxury I can’t afford”
Crimes and Misdemeanors is a rare piece of cinema; blending straight up humor whilst giving the audience something to chew on. Actually, [it’s] more than just something… it’s a lot of things. It’s rare to see a film appease on both intellectual and entertainment levels. Woody Allen addresses the complexity of human nature/emotion(s) with both dramatic and comedic appeal; satisfying everyone.
Allen’s screenplay revolves around two protagonists with no relation with the other. But because of their similar situations, are seamlessly juxtaposed in this story. Judah (Landau) a praised philanthropic ophthalmologist in the middle of an ugly love affair that may bring down his life’s work. Cliff (Allen) is a down on his…
Crimes and Misdemeanors is Woody Allen in top form. It has a lot to say about human nature and is one of his most poignant films. Martin Landau also gives a great performance.
Performances : 7.7/10
Story : 7.1/10
Production : 6.6/10
Overall : 7.13/10
I'd just like to say that as a technician, Woody Allen is not a class A director. As a story teller though, I don't think there has been or ever will be a better director.
Just my two cents.
Crimes and Misdemeanors is a film with two different story lines with a similarity, both of the central characters are struggling with a difficult decision in life.
This stories approach complicated themes as the existence of God, guilt and the capability of accepting our mistakes. It's deep but it also has very funny parts and everything is very well structured.
The performances are great and once again is proved that Woody Allen's writting abilities are amazing.
I am not a fan of Woody Allen. His movies are all right--pretty funny sometimes. The controversies that dog him are troubling, but they're not why I don't like him--I'm not exactly reserving judgment on those, but I separate art from personal life as a general rule. No, I don't like him because of his public persona. Like Tarantino, he just seems smug. Not charming smug, like George Clooney, but creepy smug. I can't watch his films without seeing that underlying the woeful neurotics he plays. So it's not really fair of me to say whether his films are good or bad. They've lost before they've begun.
But I'll say this much: if I could judge a film based solely…
Woody Allen's 19th film, 1989's Crime and Misdemeanors, is a simultaneously chilling and comedic look at life. Although a tad more depressing than some of Woody's other approaches to life, Crimes and Misdemeanors is a good movie. It follows two stories that are connected (ironically) by an unsuspecting rabbi. There is Judah (Martin Landau), the wealthy eye doctor, who is found himself wrapped up in a messy affair with the ansty Delores (played brilliantly by Anjelica Huston). And then there is Cliff (Woody), a documentary director who is constantly looking for a job. Judah and Cliff never meet until the last five minutes of this film, but when they do, the result is comedic: Judah subtly pitches his life story (which includes a recent past of "sin": adultery, greed, and murder) to Cliff for a movie idea, and Cliff rejects it as unbelievable. Worth checking out.
Good Woody Allen
Is better than great others.
This is good Woody.
A fascinating film. A thriller/comedy hybrid that intrigates and asks questions that, Allen, wisely (and surprisingly), decides to not answer in favor of further discussion.
Will rewatch soon.
Absolutely great, it's obvious that Match Point, one of my favorite Woodys, was the spawn of this film.
Match Point was like nothing he had made before, this one has more of his trademarks.
I find that its very common that Woodys have similarities. Its like he had choices in which direction to take one of his films, he picks one direction and saves the other for another movie that he'll make in years to come.
"The eyes of God are on us always," Judah Rosenthal's dad told him growing up. At the turn of the century, the Rosenthal family seems to be divided in terms of how they view their faith. Judah's dad is a straight follower: "If a man performs an act of evil, God sees. He will be punished for eternity." Judah's aunts and uncles vehemently disagree. "Only if he's caught will anyone know that he's done evil." Clearly, Judah faced disagreement at his own dinner table, which might explain why he flip-flops about believing in God so much.
Judah Rosenthal (Martin Landau) is a respected ophthalmologist with a posh home in Connecticut, a wife of many years (Miriam, played by Claire Bloom)…
Woody Allen at his existential best, facing head-on the thing that plagues us all: That little hole in each of our hearts that we try so desperately to fill. A mature, thoughtful, poignant, and occasionally hilarious look at people being... people. It also doesn't hurt that the movie is shot by Sven Nykvist, who for my money is the best cinematographer of all-time. Plain composition never looked so good.
I'd agree with others when they say that Crimes and Misdemeanors is one of, if not the best Woody Allen film. It's not too focused on Allen's neurosis/gawkiness and it doesn't have to battle against a silly conceit as his movies often do. It's just an honest, well-scripted exploration of morality and love. It's as physically small scale as is expected, but it feels much bigger due to its subject matter. It's heartbreaking in a number of ways, but there is hope if you see it differently than I did.
I loved it, but I'm not sure if it converts me into a Woody Allen fan -not that that matters
"God is a luxury I can't afford."
Half-finished, rambling thoughts abound:
The best Woody Allen film I've seen to date. I've always been a fan of films dealing with the kind of subject matter/themes Allen explores here. There's no retribution, no sense of karmic justice. It's a world where, as Louis Levy puts it at the end (the montage/voiceover was my only real gripe with the film, but it's minor), people define themselves by their actions.
Or more specifically, people are defined only by the actions they let others see. Judah cheats on his wife, but as the film opens we see how well-respected he is. He gets someone killed, but he gets away with it. Judah may have changed internally (mainly by knowing what he's capable…
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