Husbands and Wives Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ August 8, 2010
The early nineties' shift from the ideal of true love to a boon in modernized romances is very clearly defined in this very real and poignant film from Woody Allen. The film looks at the lives of two couples, Jack and Sally (Pollack and Davis) and Gabe and Judy (Allen and Farrow), who each flirt with the ideas of separation, divorce, dating, and open marriage. Each character plays off all the others so well, and the amazing performances from Davis and Farrow especially lend authenticity and humanity to an otherwise maudlin tale. The film doesn't capture the attitudes of people with everything figured out, but instead these manic, often confused, and regularly volatile people who don't understand what they want, or how to get it. At the end, the characters' motivations become clear and we see what dispassion and animosity can grant in a relationship.
Super Reviewer
April 28, 2014
The mockumentary set-up is rather unnecessary, and some of the relationships make and break too quickly, but the script holds nothing back. These husbands and wives sure get ugly: from Sally's darkly comedic manic episodes during a blind date to Jack orchestrating an ill-timed reunion while making his new squeeze wait in the car.

What this movie is though is a tour de force showcase for the acting talents of Judy Davis and Juliette Lewis. I hesitate to call them "Woody's Women" - an endearing though patronizing moniker for his ingenues - because that implies ownership, and since this is purported to be a biographical film, Rain's criticisms of Gabe's patriarchal views of females in his book may hit close to Woody's own home.

Judy Davis is shrill and brittle, but sensuously so. I've never thought much of beady-eyed Juliette Lewis, but her wise-beyond-her-years creative writing co-ed steals every scene. Rain's gratitude is never insincere, and her flirtation is subtle. The long take of her placid face in the cab as Gabe insults her for being honest about his book is so great because she just takes it. She doesn't get upset; she knows she's worth it.
Super Reviewer
February 25, 2011
Whether you are a fan of Allen or not, this film needs to be watched for the opening scene alone. When Jack (Sydney Pollack) and Sally (Sally Davis) come over for a dinner at their friend's Gabe (Woody Allen) and Judy's (Mia Farrow) house, they inform the unexpecting couple that their marriage is dissolving. This is where Allen's genius comes in. Rather than focusing on Jack & Sally, he focuses on Gabe & Judy's reaction to the news and the implications it has on their own marriage. Using a handheld, Allen invasively follows Gabe and Judy. As the camera shakes and follows the disquieted couple, you really get the sense that this news has shaken their foundation. It is a brilliant scene and in my opinion, Woody's best.
Super Reviewer
June 9, 2007
I have decided that I will limit myself to one Woody Allen film in the films I consider my "favorites," and this shall be the one. Annie Hall may be the world's darling, but this is truly a neglected jewel in the American cinema. It's clever ("Life doesn't imitate art; it imitates bad television" haha Juliette Lewis LOVE), manipulative, and filled to the brim with memorable chracters. And my god Judy Davis is SO GREAT to watch. Her magnetism is like, arresting.
Super Reviewer
February 3, 2010
After awhile some of the Woody Allen films start to merge together but I clearly remember this one. Parallels to Woody's own life abound with stand out performances from Sydney Pollack and Judy Davis.
Super Reviewer
½ August 13, 2013
Woody Allen is a highly inconsistent director. While he has created great works throughout the years such as Annie Hall and Midnight in Paris, he's almost made some I couldn't stand. And not only critically inconsistent, but for me personally. While I enjoy Anything else, this movie which is 100% on rottentomatoes, is really unmoving in my eyes. I didn't understand what was going on with the confusing narrative. Woody seems to copy Bergman in Passion of Anna, with the interview style, but he does it so much worse. And that was the hurtful point to the film, the narrative. And the more I watch Woody, I find him going farther and farther from what I'd call a great director. He's a genius writer though. The cast is great, outside of Woody, we have his then spouse (before incest) Mia Farrow, who's wonderful. This film also stars Pollack, Judy Davis, and a small appearance from Neeson. But even the familiar faces can't bring this movie out of the hole.
Super Reviewer
½ February 14, 2010
I think the more personal Woody Allen makes his dramas the better they are. The documentary style is extremely effective and Judy Davis gives one of the greatest supporting performances I've ever seen.
Super Reviewer
½ May 23, 2007
I'm adding an extra half star to this for sticking with me almost a month after I watched it.
Super Reviewer
½ December 20, 2007
Woody Allen making a film about relationships is nothing original, and yet he still manages to make each one unique. This is one of his best.
Critique Threatt
Super Reviewer
April 13, 2010
One of my fav Woody Allen pictures. "Husband And Wives" sort of reminds me Denys Arcand's movie "The Decline of the American Empire". You have two married couples and one of them makes a speech about a seperation. I think the reality is the married couple on the verge of seperation(Sydney Pollack, Judy Davis) feels they aren't competitive enough with couple number two)Woody Allen, Mia Farrow).

To Allen and Farrow this is a complete blow, almost where they feel threatned that their friends is breaking up. This is an interesting study to see how relationships develops through good and bad. It is almost amazing to see the Pollack character date a young woman in her twenties after his break up. It's clear he's just making up all that time that he's lost when he was locked and married. Now he feels liberated and free that he's managed to find his fantasy girlfriend, only thing is fantasies don't last that long...

But what about Allen and Farrow's characters? Judy(Farrow) is way to passive agressive. She insinuates herself to get whatever she wants and it's unbelivable that she succeeds. As for Allen? He becomes attracted to one of his students played by Juliette Lewis. I guess it's difficult for male teachers to be tempted by their good looking female students.

Allen is wise showing the conflicts within the relationships that it's almost sort of uneasy to watch. Only because it's happen to people in real life and in most relationships you gotta argue and debate and have emotional feelings because after all we're only human. I noticed the jerky hand held style Allen decided to attempt and although I didn't like it in "Manhattan Murder Mystery" the style feels right for "Husbands and Wives" and the documentary feel since all the characters talk about their personal relationships.

"Husbands And Wives" is a movie i've watched over and over and never seemed to get tired off. Sometimes I wonder and say "Is this what being in a relationship is all about?". So many consequences one can imagine.
Super Reviewer
½ April 25, 2008
This plot was predictable and not especially interesting.
Super Reviewer
½ January 15, 2007
Bergman material meets New Wave flair, with Woodyisms sprinkled in: a mix that's far from perfect, but not as I would have predicted if you'd told me this was what I was getting into beforehand.
August 28, 2012
one of the better woody allen films, it gets into serious issues involving married couples, and just relationships in general, showing how a lot of times we dont know what we want, and how it can change, and that this can hurt others in the process, there are no easy answers, and in the end someone ends up hurt, its also ironic how this was released at the same time as woodys scandal, and how this kind of mirrored it
½ February 29, 2012
Honest, incisive, gutsy Woody Allen drama. It will make you want to either never get married, or immediately get out of your marriage! The hand-held photography calls attention to itself too much. But, Allen here creates one of his best films.
½ February 2, 2012
This is probably the darkest Woody Allen movie I've seen so far, which is funny because it's not that different from his other films. It's about how people in love are irrational and unreliable and emotionally dishonest, yet the way its conveyed is different. This isn't gone about in the funny-but-actually-quite-sad way that Manhattan or Annie Hall is. It's deliberately discomforting. Scenes that are normally framed with by one off jokes are now scenes of fighting and neurotic bickering. It's difficult to watch life long relationships broken apart by bitterness when the characters are consumed by doubt, but it has to be accounted for. And if Woody Allen wants to hold a mirror to reality, this is a necessary film in his long filmography.
½ September 10, 2010
A great film from Woody Allen, just great. The acting is terrific from all the cast members. LIAM NEESON! Woody Allen is a good actor and portrays a great character, he's my favorite in this film. The movie has a very realistic storyline about one couple separating and another falling apart throughout the film. The ending was pretty predictable for me but I felt so bad for Gabe at the end. Husbands and Wives is a fantastic and wonderful film with a great cast and decent plot.
December 19, 2009
There is just something about him that I just violently despise. Without being judgmental of his lifestyle, I can just tell he is a dirty, selfish scumbag. And, he is. such a deviant a rat...searching the dark crevices of life and exploiting them on film.
½ April 14, 2009
pointed comentary about mariages, very solid cast, but extremely boring. do not be fooled by the statement on the cover fiercely funny.
½ October 25, 2008
i can only watch one other woody allen film (the purple rose of cairo). that one has a plot that got to me from the first scene. this one has judy davis. she is an edgy, vitriolic delight as an unhappily married career woman in manhattan(is there any other kind?)
½ August 22, 2008
I really liked the way the story was structured with the characters being interviewed between scenes.
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