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.
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…
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.
Another one of Woody Allen's essential, insightful and tender examinations of serious relationships. Husband and Wives, however, also works twofold as an uncomfortable post-mortem on Allen's and Farrow's controversial and acrimonious split.
Within, Allen boldly dissects prickly issues that many partners would simply choose to ignore: Does desire between a couple truly grow or does familiarity cause partners to long for other lovers? Is it really worth threatening a relationship by being totally honest to one another, or should we preserve what we've got regardless of us not feeling fulfilled in the way we imagined we would?
Allen's main answer may be a little too simple for such complex social issues - to essentially lower our expectations for marriage -…
One of the most truthful and hilarious examinations of marriage and relationships out there. This was my third - maybe fourth - viewing and each one was a different revelation. Sidney Pollack is fantastic but Judy Davis steals the movie.
"You use sex to express every emotion except love."
Another intimate look into relationships from Allen, who manages to change his directing and acting style for this film. The mocumentary Format for the film played wonderfully, especially at establishing a narration of the characters actions. The cast was strong, and it was nice to see Allen stretch his acting range.
I'm not generally much of an Allen fan (although I oddly gravitate toward filmmakers he clearly influenced), but this had some good moments. It's a bit more introspective and self-critical than usual for him, but the "fly on the wall" faux-documentary shakycam style doesn't feel as effective as it once might have, now that we've all been subjected to so much sub-Cassavetes, post-Dogme 95/mumblecore bullshit in the ensuing years. At the very least now I can appreciate how much Alex Ross Perry's brilliant Listen Up, Philip was a direct homage/deconstruction of this film though.
This is another really solid film by Woody Allen. I like these slightly later films of his with Mia Farrow (this one did remind me of Hannah and Her Sisters).
I think the way relationships are portrayed in this film are extremely (and sometimes uncomfortably) relatable. Paired with the hand-held filming and interviews with the characters, it does feel like peeking into real people's lives.
Judy Davis is definitely the standout as Sally, followed closely by Juliette Lewis as Rain. Personally, the best scene is Gabe and Rain's argument in the taxi; Lewis is fantastic and the sense of romantic interest between the two characters is apparent without being obvious.
The only downside to this movie is the way that Allen makes some people appear shallow and unintelligent if they don't seem "intellectual" enough. Other than that, one of the best of his that I've seen yet.
Husbands and Wives is Woody Allen at his most aggressively comic. The laughs are pretty hard to discern, yet the film is still a comedy. The film is built around a farcical premise, as the husbands and wives of the title, revolve around each other, in and out of affairs, like a Shakespearan play. However, Allen just tips it, through the handheld camera-work, the flashbacks and forth, the casting, dramatic actors over comic ones, into a serious-comedy. A scene, like the one between Liam Neeson and Judy Davis, when Neeson tries to seduce her, could be hilarious, but in their hands it is incredibly awkward. I always forget that Neeson is in an Allen film, he would never make one…
Husbands and Wives
Gezien op kot met Jeroen en Raoul. En nog steeds één van de beste films die het thema liefde onderzoekt en bekijkt naar mijn mening.
Ik vind in deze film een spanning terug tussen een pragmatische visie op het huwelijk en een romantische.
Jack en Sally verdedigen uiteindelijk een pragmatische visie: je blijft bij elkaar ondanks de problemen, en dat betekent helemaal niet dat het slecht is. It works. Je moet aanvaarden dat sommige problemen onoplosbaar zijn, en prioriteiten stellen. De reden dat je hiervoor kiest is bv. omdat je bang bent om alleen te zijn (being alone versus being single). Van belang is voldoende realiteitszin: overspannen verwachtingen maken een huwelijk kapot. Jack en Sally…
Na de gezamenlijk workshop schrijven van Paul Pourveur, die iets wat bizar en romantisch eindigde, vroegen klasgenootjes, beginnende filmmakers en cinefiele buddies. Daan en Michiel of Jeroen (J-blo) en ik zin hadden om de dag af te sluiten met een echte mannen avond...
Na 2 uur aan vettige burgers eten, film trivia roulette spelen en aan Daan's wijsvinger trekken, gingen we kijken naar Michiel's favoriete Woody Allen film, "Husband & Wives".
Ondanks dat ik niet meteen overdonderd was door deze film, heb ik erg genoten van de typische Woody Allen dialogen, de ongemakkelijke maar bekende situaties rondom relaties en ex-relaties en vooral van een nog jonge Liam Neeson die getrouwde vrouwen op geilt met zijn Ierse accent.
Het was een geslaagde mannen avond.
The dialogue and emotional archs are impressive. There's a lot of emotional growth divided between 4 principal actors, only to end up at a darkly humorous final note. The experiment that Allen undergoes - to tell an unassuming fiction in mockumentary style - is interesting, but doesn't take us anywhere. It's fun to see these characters being interviewed about their emotions and the intentionally shoddy camerawork and editing as a genre thing, but that genre doesn't add to the story. The interviews feel like a cheap trick to explain emotional circumstances and the bad technical aspects demand attention without giving us anything of substance.
It's very dialogue-heavy (perhaps a bit too much), but there's plenty of funny moments in there…
My All-Time Favorites
From the NYT website:
This list is drawn from the second edition of The New York Times Guide to the…