Drama of middle age.
- Another Woman review by Steve Mason
Through the eighties Woody's films increasingly became related to the experiences of middle age, with their nostalgia, strong theme of regret, a re-evaluation of values, and an anxiety that last chances to change have slipped away. Another Woman is the film that most directly confronts that condition.
Marion (Gena Rowlands) is a self absorbed and emotionally frozen professor in German philosophy who has turned fifty and remarried. She rents a room to write a book, and begins to hear speech from the room next door, where Mia Farrow is being treated for depression (she is called Hope!). Of course the voice is Marion's own inner disquiet and it provokes a reaction to her past and present relationships. So, a mid-life crisis.
This is a wonderfully imaginative and intense drama which utilises dreams, fantasy and flashback to sympathetically probe and resolve Marion's quiet, emotionally paralysing unease. It eschews Allen's frequent enthusiasm for abstract philosophical ideas to focus purely on the condition and conflict of Marion's heart in quite a forensic way.
I don't know why I didn't recognise how great this film was before rewatching it today. Maybe it is because I'm now middle aged. But it's a shame I missed its sensitivity, intelligence and wisdom. I think this would work pretty well as a stage play.
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