Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA, 1978. Jack Rollins & Charles H. Joffe Productions, Rollins-Joffe Productions. Screenplay by Woody Allen. Cinematography by Gordon Willis. Produced by Charles H. Joffe. Production Design by Mel Bourne. Costume Design by Joel Schumacher. Film Editing by Ralph Rosenblum. Academy Awards 1978. Golden Globe Awards 1978. National Board of Review Awards 1978. New York Film Critics Awards 1978.
This Ingmar Bergman-inspired drama is a complete reversal of style for Woody Allen, effectively capturing the downward spiral of an upper class New York family that is falling apart at the seams. Geraldine Page is phenomenal as a woman who is doing her best to emotionally survive her husband (E.G. Marshall) leaving her. Her daughters (Diane Keaton, Mary Beth Hurt, Kristin Griffith) struggle with their own problems while trying to get to know their father’s new wife (Maureen Stapleton, also a standout). Fantastic performances are compounded with gorgeous cinematography and Allen’s uncannily sharp sense of character; the dialogue and direction are as strong as iron here. The auteur-neurotic concentrated more of his career on brilliant comedies, but his few forays into serious drama realm (this and Another Woman) have been memorable (I’m pretending not to remember September).