Another Woman (1988)
Movie InfoGrad-school administrative head Marion Post (Gena Rowlands) is in the midst of writing a book. The walls are thin in the apartment she's taken for work purposes, and soon Marion begins listening to the sessions conducted by her neighbor, an analyst. One of the patients is Hope (Mia Farrow), whose marriage is in tatters. As Hope prattles on, Marion begins flashing back to highlights (and lowlights) of her own marriage. Her musings are constantly interrupted by the memory of the man (Gene Hackman) she'd once ardently loved. Later on, chance encounters with old friends force Marion to face the fact that she has lived her life sheltering herself from her true emotions. Director Woody Allen's career-long indebtedness to Ingmar Bergman is underlined in Another Woman via Bergman's frequent cinematographer Sven Nykvist. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi … More
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.
Critic Reviews for Another Woman
Film that emerges is brave, in many ways fascinating, and in all respects of a caliber rarely seen.
A piece of posturing phoniness designed to awe spectators who like their psychodramas third-hand and upscale.
Rowlands' perfectly pitched approach to a demanding role is particularly stunning.
Mr. Allen is becoming an immensely sophisticated director, but this screenplay is in need of a merciless literary editor.
The storytelling is fluid and dramatic -- almost theatrical -- the film glows with light and the design is economically artful.
Once again, Allen has mistaken unfunny for serious, feeling the breath of immortality on his shoulder.
Though not one of Woody Allen's strongest films, this Bergman-like psychological melodrama is too self-conscious and contrived, but the cast, headed by Gena Rowlands and Gene Hackman, is good.
Superbly written and directed by a film-maker at the peak of his creative power, and with a sublime performance by Rowlands to match, this film has not a joke in sight.
Nykvist's photography is impeccable, as is Loquasto's spare production design.
Commercially ignored and critically unheralded even by Allen's own falling standards, [the film is] a sensitive, accomplished, and ambitious picture that deserves notice.
Not Woody's best. He gets serious and that's usually not a good sign.
Sometimes emotionally disengaging, but generally an intelligent Bergman-esque study of one woman's quest for fulfillment.
Celebrates the honesty and courage needed by men and women at midlife to face up to the truth of things and then to change.
Audience Reviews for Another Woman
Not a film for everyone, but one that's well written and affecting, with some good performances on show.More
For those who for whatever reason are not aware, I absolutely love Woody Allen. I thoroughly enjoy his way with words, sarcasm, humor, characters, themes, etc. In more simple terms, he's a comic genius. Ever since the beginning of his career, Woody has done quite well at fulfilling his goal of spitting out a film each year. He's missed a year three or four times, and once or twice he has released two films in one year, but from an omniscient point of view, isn't it rather impressive that his directorial career started in 1969, and since then, he has directed a total of forty-four features? Every so often, Woody has an idea for a non-comedy in mind. Having never seen one of these films, I was curious about ANOTHER WOMAN, a drama about an author who becomes involved with an adulterous incident. While the film does impress after a long string of comedies, it fails to stick out among Woody's entire career.
read it all at themoviefreakblog.com
It's no secret that Woody Allen idolized Bergman (which shouldn't come as much of a shock, since lots of people, myself included, share the same sentiment). He has tried, with mixed results, to make a true homage to the legend with Interiors and September, but with Another Woman, he finally made a film that not only hits the examining, existential notes that Bergman hit routinely, but one that remarkably feels like a Woody Allen film in terms of its incredibly astute screenplay and beautiful staging.
Some have called Another Woman a Wild Strawberries remake, but I would argue that it isn't a remake as much as it is a reimagining, or more to the point, a "repurposing" of the Bergman classic. It is a story of a university professor, played SPECTACULARLY by Gena Rowlands, in whom something stirs when she overhears a therapy session with a young 30-something woman who is discontent with her life. The professor, Marion, feels an emptiness rise inside her -- an emptiness that had settled there years before, that she can consciously feel now. Little by little, like in Interiors but better plotted in Wild Strawberries, the world she has constructed for herself, a cold, cerebral world, deconstructs.
Marion despairs, enters into conflicts with herself, and questions endlessly trying to reason her way out of her malaise. But the cure for her malaise is not rational resolution and she, realizing that her strongest characteristic (namely her rational intelligence) is not enough to untangle what worries her, finds herself entirely helpless in the face of an unraveling existence.
Her drama is very much like the drama of Professor Isak Borg from Bergman's film, a man on his way to receive a medal for his lifetime achievements. And, on the road, he also succumbs to the same malaise as Marion, the same questioning and the same painful re-evaluation. The horror shared by both Marion and Professor Borg, of course, is that despite their highly lauded accomplishments and their intellectual self-satisfaction, they feel a void. There must, in other words, be something else to life than strictly intellectual work, however satisfying it may be.
Another Woman is a testament to the fact that Woody Allen was still at the top of his game in the late 80s. It is a brilliant, honest and perceptive film. It makes one wonder how different Bergman's films would have been if he didn't dismiss the visual sophistication that Allen spent most of his early career developing.
In addressing the criticism of Another Woman, sure, a few beats feel contrived and forceful, but considering the heavy questions being posed, and the unrelenting commitment that Allen has to the material, this film had plenty of opportunities to fall flat on its face, and to its credit, it never does. In fact, it excels thanks to a fantastic script, brilliant performances, and a wise small dose of visual styling. This is Woody Allen at the height of his powers.
Discuss Another Woman on our Movie forum!