A Woman Under the Influence - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Woman Under the Influence Reviews

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½ March 27, 2018
A Woman Under the Influence definitely has a powerful, emotionally resonant story and fantastic performances from its talented cast, but the film is ridiculously long at two and half hours and thus it is overly prolonged and dull with its impact being blunted. It has five important scenes and the rest is basically filler.
February 17, 2018
1001 movies to see before you die.
½ October 18, 2017
Rowlands' Mabel is to talkies what Falconetti's Joan of Arc is to silents.
October 3, 2017
Powerful movie - as deeply disturbing as it is moving and enlightening. Most reviews and summaries of this movie tell it as though a woman, Mabel, is unstable and her husband,Nick, must do something about it. However as the movie progresses it becomes apparent that Nick is the unstable one, and everyone else, as sheep in our patriarchal. suppressed and fearful society, simply conform. What did Mabel do wrong? She is nothing but love, expressed uniquely as herself. The others, with the exception of a few, express the insanity that we call conformity, status quo, and "normal".... What a brilliant movie.
September 11, 2017
This is an incredibly intense movie by Cassavetes with his signature improvisational filmmaking style.
September 8, 2017
Something that fascinated me with the way that Cassavetes directed this film was the distance between the camera and the story at hand. Most things are shot on long lenses, putting a distance between us and this family, giving it an almost documentary style naturalism when paired with the harrowing performances.

John Cassavetes was a revolutionary artist, and a true maverick of American independent cinema, and this may be his masterpiece.
August 18, 2017
Overpowering, I had the flu and a fever while watching it, so I will have to go over the early parts that I slept/nightmared through. The domestic tension was excruciating.
½ July 29, 2017
It's one of those rare occasions when you can safely say that the performances are perfect and don't doubt them even for a second. The performance of Gena Rowlands could easily be named legendary. Still, the movie being highly emotional and realistic, at times it goes too far and over the top in the realm of unrealistic.
½ April 20, 2017
very uncomfortable viewing and brilliant performances by all. it could have been a movie of the week if not for Falk s insanity in full spotlight. no one in the family is well adjusted which makes Rowland s commitment truly heartbreaking.
March 20, 2017
Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk give the performances of their careers in probably Cassavetes' best film. Uncomfortable to watch yet hard to take your attention away. If you don't want to go to the theatre, watch a Cassavetes film.
December 16, 2016
Marked by fierce performances by Oscar nominee Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk, it is a harrowingly heart-wrenching glimpse into the torturous deterioration of a loving family when a hypomanic housewife is wrongfully committed by her quick-tempered husband.
October 20, 2016
Sometimes uncomfortable. Always acutely depicted real-life drama focussing on emotions and motivations. The precursor to Blue Valentine and any movie with long cuts and intimate close ups. Reality movie making. With people you care about. My first Cassavetes film and I understand his fame. Honestly, if you hear a director's name oft spoken, it's for worthy and deserving reason.
July 31, 2016
One strange as fuck movie. Mental illness has never been explored in a way like here. It's extremely meandering but perhaps that's what gives it its descent into madness in such a memorable way. I've only seen it once and Cassavettes is way too much to take in one time to make a great opinion, but this film is unlike anything else.
June 10, 2016
A Woman Under the Influence is one of director John Cassavete's greatest films, made even more astounding by intense performances from Mr. Falk and Ms. Rowlands.
½ May 24, 2016
Aptly taps into the granular, personal stories that have defined independent cinema for decades.
February 15, 2016
Vlam in de top tien best movies ever made.
January 5, 2016
Cassavetes deserves a lot of credit for this film because it is so convincing but most of the credit should go to Gena Rowlands who was very impressive. The story is a bit slow and ultimately dissatisfying but it is still a classic, underrated, film.
December 21, 2015
cam lung si cam proaste personalitatile. nuia iesit
becareful with culture programming. socially accepted attachments / obsessions
½ December 4, 2015
The self-proclaimed hipsters and 'indie' film watchers of our generation have probably never heard of the 1974 film directed by John Cassavetes, A Woman Under the Influence (and if they have, props to them). I hadn't heard of it until I did some research on the best Independent films of all time and it came up on top in several lists. I was intrigued, watched it, and came to the conclusion that this movie is a perfect example of what an Independent film should be: a work of art.

A Woman Under the Influence is the story of Mabel Longhetti (played by Gena Rowlands - wife to the director), a suburban wife and mother, who is mentally unstable. She's crazy, and unusual, which you can see from the start. And her husband, Nick (played by Peter Falk - our generation may know him as the grandfather in The Princess Bride), sends her away to a mental institution for six months.

This film is full of so much emotion, and that is partly because of the budget. Budgets are something that matter when it comes to these types of films. The budget calls for things to be simpler - costumes and sets, props and makeup, music and lighting, and so on. For example, the house in the movie was an actual house that they borrowed for the movie. They didn't go out and build a new house because it simply wasn't in the budget.

(A Woman Under the Influence was a low budget movie, costing only $500,000 to make. This is a drastically lower budget than, say, The Godfather: Part II - which came out the same year - with a budget of $13,000,000.)

The movie almost seems like a more realistic reality to me because the budget was so low. There are no special effects, no fancy lighting techniques, no fancy sets; everything is raw and natural, which makes the aesthetic of the movie so unique.

This movie, like other independent films, is a work of art that captures something real, and address things that large budget, big-hit blockbusters do not address. Movies from that time never really addressed mental illness in the way A Woman Under the Influence does, or any way for that matter, which is one reason that this movie makes such a good film: it challenges the conventional way that mental illness was being portrayed in mass media.

I absolutely recommend this movie. Though, I'll admit it's not for everyone, it sure is a film that lovers of independent films should watch. It's sad, it's dark, and it's a rollercoaster of emotion, leaving you with teary, yet opened eyes. The film is a work of art, just as an Independent movie should be.
November 22, 2015
Gena Rowlands is just a goddamn powerhouse. Rich, dark, complex and sad- a portrait of women in society as much as a portrait of mental illness and how we deal with it.
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