Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Husbands and Wives
When Jack and Sally announce that they're splitting up, this comes as a shock to their best friends Gabe and Judy. Maybe mostly because they also are drifting apart and are now being made aware of it. So while Jack and Sally try to go on and meet new people, the marriage of Gabe and Judy gets more and more strained, and they begin to find themselves being attracted to other people.
Performances : 7/10
Story : 6.4/10
Production : 7.9/10
Overall : 7.1/10
At the rate I'm going I think I'll be done the entire Woody Allen catalogue by June. Husbands and Wives is more of the same from Allen, narratively speaking. Production-wise though it's definitely one of his more unique. The cross cutting between the drama unfolding between the characters and the interviews taking place after the fact was inspired and the editing techniques employed is jarring (I promise I mean that in a complimentary way).
Allen and company are great in their respective roles. Sydney Pollack was wonderful, as was Liam Neeson, who for some reason didn't have a gun at any point in the entire movie.
The sort of film that exists solely so that pseudointellectuals who have never been an opium-addled prostitute or a vagrant with superfluous nipples all over his frostbitten face can meet in the lobby afterwards and trade banal comments about its "honesty," then perhaps tell their dull friends at a party the next week how very good the acting was, and then never speak or think of it again. Why ought we care about the state of these dithering yammerers' marriages? The only marriage we care to think of is that between revolutionary thought and revolutionary praxis, as we have explained to our lovers many times.
Film #26 of Project 90
”It’s the second law of thermodynamics, sooner or later everything turns to shit.”
Shockingly honest and outrageously critical, Husbands and Wives could have been a sadistic experience if it wasn't for Woody Allen’s unique sense of humor. Like any other movie from Allen it looks very simple and ordinary at first but if you look closer you’ll see that Allen’s precise and delicate portrayal of various characters and their romantic behaviours along with a distinctive narrative structure have provided the film with an unbelievable power to not only shock its viewers but also to ruin all their myths abut love, romance and happiness. In short Husbands and Wives leaves its viewers discombobulated.
The relationship between…
It's when you watch a Woody Allen movie at its best, with believable, complex, and psychologically sophisticated characters that you realise how fluff like To Rome With Love is Allen gone completely off the boil.
Husbands and Wives examines the nature of married life and the idea of the grass being greener on the other side in a much more satisfying way than in that later film. The innovative faux-documentary style works very well and the characters' motivations are explored with real acuity.
It's to the movie's credit that it wasn't completely overshadowed by the off-screen drama between Allen and Mia Farrow. This is partly down to the amazingly natural performances form all involved.
One of the best films ever made about marriage, as Woody and Mia Farrow witness the break-up of their best friends (Sydney Pollack and Judy Davis), and begin to see that dissatisfaction reflected in their own relationship.
When people say that Allen's more recent dramas have been a pale imitation of his best work, this may well be the "best work" they have in mind: a bristling, brilliant examination of adulthood, romance and the conflicting emotions held within the heart of every human being.
Though filmed in a somewhat peculiar manner - as a mockumentary complete with handheld photography, jump cuts and talking head inserts - it remains a simply staggering achievement, building exponentially in power and resonance as it…
Discussed with Listen Up Philip and The Color Wheel filmmaker Alex Ross Perry in the latest episode of The Cinephiliacs. Can't stress the fact how weird the handheld camera makes the entire rhythms of Allen's usually facetious and harmless comedy suddenly feel loaded with arsenic. The way that Perry talks about some of the more insane moves of the camera makes me want to rewatch it immediately to see how even more weird it gets.
Pretty great Woody Allen. At times true to life, other times ironic. Both humorous and honest with great insight but also Woody Allen's usually pretentious psychobabble. Fantastic performances from the whole cast, engaging cinematography with each scene executed in one long take and of course Woody Allen's great dialogue. A really great film.
"It's my belief, pride is the chief cause and the decline in the number of husbands and wives." As interested as I am in discovering that Woody Allen is a fan of music other than jazz, I wouldn't have figured him as such a big fan of country music that he would name a film after the Roger Miller in question, but then again, as many songs as there are with this title, there are probably a few jazz standards of the same name. Speaking of which, with this film, it was getting to where Allen's dramedies about family dysfunction were more plentiful than songs titled "Husbands and Wives", but he had to quit because the family dysfunction he was…
Such a palate cleanser after Irrational Man, and possibly the most impressed I've ever been by a Woody film, not for story/structure reasons but for the handheld manic long-take performance style (which puts the picture-postcard/script-regurgitating comps/perfs of Irrational Man to total shame). It's like a semi-comedic Scenes from a Marriage, and so much better at Bergman-riffing than Another Woman's hardwood-floor color palette. Still, though, a kind of miserable experience, mainly cuz the characters don't solicit much sympathy.
When Jack (Sydney Pollack) and Sally (Judy Davis) casually announce their marriage has ended, it forces Gabe (Woody Allen) and Judy Roth (Mia Farrow) to question their own relationship. Gabe flirts with Rain (Juliette Lewis), one of his students, while Judy eyes a relationship with Michael Gates (Liam Neeson).
Filmed as a documentary with interviews explaining the character's inner emotions, this film asks if it's possible to maintain vitality in a relationship, or if all long-term relationships inevitably devolve towards predictability and boredom?
While better known as the director of Tootsie (1982), Absence of Malice (1981), Out of Africa (1985), and The Firm (1993), Sydney Pollack had an extensive career as an actor with memorable roles in Eyes Wide Shut…
possibly responsible for the single camera/cringe humor craze of the last two decades
A sort-of, kind-of mockumentary film that follows the lives of two couples, one splitting up and one still together over the course of the year and all their affairs and problems in keeping a marriage and starting new relationships. This film is notable for being released right in the height of the infamous Woody Allen-Mia Farrow-Soon-Yi scandals and lots of the themes tackled bear some funny similarities to the real-life break-up of the celebrity couple, like Woody's character's infatuation with a much younger woman, for instance. Outside of the crazy circumstances surrounding this film, I would consider this mid-tier Woody Allen, far from the worst but not exactly one of my top favorites but the performances are great, especially Judy Davis who basically stole it.
It's the convincingly natural yet articulate delivery of intelligent and funny dialogue that sets Woody Allen's films apart.
Not what I expected from the docu-style Woody Allen film. Considering how often this approach is used in comedy, it was refreshing to find this to be such a compelling drama and not the by the book comedy we are so used to today.
It makes sense that so many actors would chomp at the bit to work with Woody. Here every character comes across as believable, compelling, and deserving of empathy. Judy Davis in particular nails a woman on the brink of break down. What at first comes across as frustrating and controlling is revealed to be understandably vulnerable. Her marriage, like most, is complex and not understood at a momentary glance. That we can gain insights to all…
Stylish, authentic, and surprisingly funny, "Husbands and Wives" is one of the best Woody Allen movies out there. Performances are spot on all throughout while the directing form takes a new turn. It's a well accomplished movie that has a lot to say, and says it masterfully.
From the NYT website:
This list is drawn from the second edition of The New York Times Guide to the…
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