Crimes and Misdemeanors

Crimes and Misdemeanors ★★★★★

CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS is one of Woody Allen's best, which is saying a lot, isn't it? It includes a great ensemble featuring Allen, Mia Farrow, Martin Landau, Angelica Huston, Jerry Orbach, Alan Alda, Joanna Gleason, Sam Waterston, and more. Allen is a struggling documentary filmmaker, married to Gleason, who is in turn Alda's sister. Allen is following Alda around; Alda is in television -- a successful producer -- who is also an ass (if you have seen the film, you've just caught a lovely play on words). Both Allen and Alda are romantically interested in Farrow and the Allen-Farrow relationship in the film is fraught with emotion. Landau is an ophthalmologist who is not on the up-and-up in his business practices and has a mistress who knows about his wrongdoings, played by Huston. More about their specific relationship and how it unfolds I cannot say. However, I can say that the film walks between comedy and drama, like many Allen films do, but it does it better than any of Allen's other films and perhaps better than most films of any director. Landau's storyline provides the tragedy while Allen's provides the comedy. It's a brilliant film from beginning to end.