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.
Mia Farrow: Do you ever hide things from me?
Woody Allen: No.
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.
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.
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…
Woody Allen turns the creepy up a notch in this painfully autobiographical film about failed marriages and courting a 20-year old. It's a well-known fact that Farrow learned about Allen's affair near the end of shooting and had to be begged to come back to finish it. The breakup scene between Judy and Gabe was even filmed after the real life separation occured and you can feel all the hatred and tension. The fact that Allen opted for a documentary style, with jump cuts, handheld camera and even interviews with the characters, makes everything feel even more raw and genuine. Pollack and Davis did an amazing job and even though it's hard not to feel contempt towards Allen it remains one of his best acting performances.
Top 5 Allen films?
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Typical Allen fare, but as someone who very much likes his earlier work and some of the more recent movies too, that's not a bad thing. You have the usual dissection of relationships that I have yet to see in any way, shape or form in real life, you have a few great comedic moments (Judy Davis's first date after her separation from Sydney Pollack, wherein she is constantly running back to the phone to yell at Pollack, stands out especially), and you have Woody Allen running after a girl far too young for him (though Muriel Hemingway in Manhattan was definitely superior to Juliette Lewis here).
But while it all feels very familiar, it gets to the heart of…
Again, there's nothing that new here, especially if you've watched 30 something Woody Allen films in a couple of weeks.
But, I did enjoy the documentary approach to it, with those cutaway interviews and the roaming camera really bring something interesting to the table.
It does have some great performances in it, though. Sydney Pollack and Judy Davis are great and it's strange to see Liam Neeson in actor mode, years before Lucas put a lightsaber in his hand or bad guys kidnapped his daughter.
It's good. All of Allen's films are, in their own way.
Except for Melinda and Melinda.
Masterful - one of the best Allen films and, being a perfect summation of his style, incredibly easy to be reductive about (white, middle-class 40-something Brooklynites are filled with over-educated neurosis, yada yada yada). Full of bleak but precise observations about the way people collide, rebound and sail back into one another's orbits.
One plotline resembles Albert Brooks' Modern Romance in its portrayal of an unhappy couple inexorably drawn to each other but it feels far less one-note; the whole film, in fact, has some of the most well-drawn characters Allen ever wrote (he didn't really start writing complex characters again till Blue Jasmine), cleverly insinuating potential plot lines that never quite take shape as you'd imagine: these are characters…
Husbands and Wives is one of Allen's films that I always overlook. It's easily his most idiosyncratically shot movies---I now believe that it has the second-best cinematography in his entire catalog (behind Manhattan, of course)---and the editing is just absolute perfection. The film proves that Woody Allen doesn't just give up after production wraps.
To me, Husbands and Wives directly responds to cinéma vérité. The documentary style, the quick pans, the extreme close ups, the jump cuts, and the themes are all lifted from the great documentaries of the period. There's rarely any shot/reverse shots: takes last minutes and have complete coverage of the scene; this is a characteristic of many Allen movies, however this picture is much more sporadic…
Heavy and at times painful, Husbands and Wives takes a formal detour from what Allen had previously done; he gives us the mockumentary in a format much closer to what we'd see in NBC comedies two decades later, rather than the art-house doc form of Zelig.
Liam Neeson is fantastic and works as a great counterpoint to Allen, Mia has her Rosemary's Baby hair for most of this which is awesome, and definitely her most biting performance while collaborating with Woody. She showed her range throughout the 80's with him, but in this performance, one much closer to herself, the sadness is much more apparent on screen, and its a more heartfelt performance than what she'd previously given, ringing more…
This Judy Davis actress is really starting to grow on me in these Woody films I've been watching. Her wacky neurosis is quite delightful. I do think she would make a fine Wicked Witch if someone did a Wizard of Oz remake. She has the part down in spades.
The title of this film made is seem like it would be a complete bore-fest. But I was actually interested in the characters involved and the pitfalls of marriage. I especially liked Davis (as I mentioned)....and Lysette Anthony in her small role. And I was thrilled to see Liam "Taken" Neeson in this picture. One of my fave actors in Hollywood. So overall, an enjoyable flick.
A Woody Allen comedy drama about breaking relationships amongst white intellectuals shuffling partners like a pack of cards? What an exciting prospect! Yet Husbands and Wives may be the best example of Allen's obsession.
Not as funny as Annie Hall, nor as iconic as Manhattan, but it feels so much rawer and real than any of his work till that point. Intimate, uncomfortable, inevitable. Most of this is due of course to the unexpected formal choices: the antsy handheld camerawork (especially during the fantastic opening scene), and the apparently motiveless choice (within the world of the film) to add documentary talking head sequences.
But it's not all surface choices which give H&W its status. The aforementioned interrogative sequences seem to…
'1000 Films to Change your Life' is a book with excerpts from many highly regarded critics, actors, directors and writers,…
Complete list. :-(