Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1992. Jack Rollins & Charles H. Joffe Productions, TriStar Pictures. Screenplay by Woody Allen. Cinematography by Carlo Di Palma. Produced by Robert Greenhut. Production Design by Santo Loquasto. Costume Design by Jeffrey Kurland. Film Editing by Susan E. Morse. Academy Awards 1992. Boston Film Critics Awards 1992. Golden Globe Awards 1992. National Board of Review Awards 1992. New York Film Critics Awards 1992.
Woody Allen‘s examination of married couples isn’t as marvelous as his similar look into the world of siblings (Hannah and Her Sisters), but it features choice moments and brilliant performances. It also showcases Allen and Mia Farrow (her last appearance in his films) in a relationship that mirrored the Soon-Yi Previn scandal that was making headlines at the time (and did a huge amount of good to the box-office results of this film). Farrow and Allen are shocked to death when their best friends (Judy Davis, Sydney Pollack) announce that they are getting divorced. Davis tries out Liam Neeson in her new single life, while Pollock starts seeing a much younger woman (Lysette Anthony). Witnessing this breakup brings new grains of doubt to their own marriage, and things aren’t improved when Allen becomes interested in one of his writing students (Juliette Lewis). The plot drags here and there, but the dialogue is fantastic and truly captures some of the turbulence that can happen in any relationship. The highlight, however, is Davis’s incredibly energetic sarcasm: she not only steals the show, she is the show, and her Don Juan speech is unforgettable.