Sweet and Lowdown - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sweet and Lowdown Reviews

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½ July 5, 2012
he loved the guitar more than he loved women
July 3, 2012
Not Woody's best film, but on its own, Sweet and Lowdown is a watchable, fascinating, and well-acted mock biopic. Sean Penn stars as Emmet Ray, a thoroughly unlikable jazz guitarist (second in the world, only behind Django Reinhardt, as he likes to remind everybody he meets) who meets Hattie (Samantha Morton), a mute, and the two fall for each other. It's a doomed relationship from the word go, however, as Emmet's complete inability to be faithful takes over. The soundtrack pulses with vintage jazz guitar music (supposedly played by Emmet himself), and it's one of the best aspects of the film. Penn proves that he can be a magnetic force onscreen, even when his character is just so awful. He got a well-deserved Oscar nomination for the film, as did Morton as Hattie. Morton doesn't speak a word in the entire film, but she doesn't have to. Channeling the stars from the silent days of Hollywood, she uses her large, round eyes and expressive mouth to convey everything we ever need to know about Hattie. Both performances are ones to be cherished, and two of the best in all of Allen's filmography. The film outside of them is solid, but definitely not one of his best.
June 14, 2012
Imagine Raging Bull as a Woody Allen comedy-drama-mockumentary-jazz biopic and you'll have a vague idea of what to expect. A strange, strange film, but a brilliant and beautiful one.
½ May 18, 2012
Great Woody Allen film; a quasi-documentary on the life of fictional jazz guitarist Emmet Ray played brilliantly by Sean Penn in one of his very best performances. Samantha Morton is also wonderful as a mute who changes his life, in a very large tribute from Allen to Fellini's La Strada.

And any film that uses "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" 3 times is a winner for me.
May 16, 2012
I enjoyed it, but not as much as i had hoped to. I'm not a big fan of Woody Allen but Sean Penn plays his part well.
½ April 8, 2012
I loved the acting. I loved the music..
melancholy and anchored ..
Great Performance from Sean Penn!
½ March 13, 2012
best guitar player in the world, except there's this gypsy in France
½ February 23, 2012
Nice little movie, with a great soundtrack
½ January 22, 2012
It's a quality Woody Allen that has it's most enduring moments. Samantha Morton sparkles as the most loveable character of the film.
December 23, 2011
Eventhough the film is true to everything that Woody Allen stands for as a filmmaker, this film strikes me as one of his least interesting ones. However, Sean Penn gives an excellent performance.
½ December 17, 2011
One of the best performances of Sean Penn's career and to me that's saying ALOT! He's a human trainwreck every second he's not playing the guitar and yet you like him and feel bad for him, just a brilliant performance. Samantha Morton is operating on the same level of brilliance playing the mute girlfriend. The bio-pic/documentary style structure works every step of the way.

Woody Allen keeps making great films. Just because you're waiting for the sequels to 'Annie Hall' and 'Manhattan' doesn't mean he has lost it.
½ November 23, 2011
Sean Penn at his most endearing, in one of Woody Allen's late, great efforts.
Super Reviewer
½ September 26, 2011
For some art is therapy. Allen posits that the reverse also holds water, only not quite with this effort. Sean Penn is Allen's willing doppelganger here (not adopting Allen's much copied persona unlike most), a man afraid to connect emotionally to anyone. Can anyone get through his Maginot Line of defenses to get to the soul within? Pathos, instead of laughs, thereby infuses this supposed casual look at self-imposed solitude.
½ September 24, 2011
Such a enjoyable film about the jazz guitarist. Sean Penn and Samantha Morton are excellent. One of the best Allen films. A real feel good stuff.
½ September 9, 2011
This fictional jazz biography is one of Woody Allen's best. It's funny and poignant, and Penn and Morton are teriffic in it.
½ September 8, 2011
one of Woody's best movies ,, absolutely loved sean <3 ,, the end of the movie made me happy ,, ya you should start blaming yourself ,, cuz you deserve it ,, haha ,, in general the movie was sweet, funny, and charming ,,
½ July 3, 2011
Minor but enjoyable and well acted Woody Allen film.
½ June 30, 2011
"Wanna go to the dump and shoot some rats?"

Genius! One of my fav Woody Allen movies.
June 19, 2011
The perfect faux-biopic, with the singular exception of Sean Penn's inability to look like he's actually playing guitar. It's like watching a poorly-dubbed foreign flick, but with guitars.
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