Interiors

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This 1978 movie was a huge departure for director Woody Allen. Made in between Annie Hall and Manhattan this film has very little in common with those films. Made at the height of his creative prowess, Allen sets comedy aside for a moment in order to explore the relationship of a sadly dysfunctional family. "Interiors" is, essentially, the story of an upper-class family shattered by the divorce of the parents and the ensuing collapse of the mother, played by Geraldine Page. One daughter (Diane Keaton) keeps giving her false hope that her husband will return. Another daughter (Mary Beth Hurt) tries to get her mother to face reality. Both attempts are in vain and their mother becomes a burden to all in many ways. The mother's descent into madness leaves the family reeling and exposes many rifts that for years appeared to have been buried.
Many critics mention that this film has much in common with the bleak films of Ingmar Bergman; having very little familiarity with Bergman I can't say if they are right. What I do know is that Allen made a film with nary a laugh to be found. Also...the film is nearly bereft of any music at all, which was another departure for Allen. Music does pop up near the end of the film, in a scene that Maureen Stapleton (who plays the father's new found love interest) plays with devastating effectiveness.
Somber, bleak, quiet and stark are the terms that come to mind when I think about this film, but also thought-provoking. The beautifully ambiguous ending left me thinking about this movie for several days.
-Stephen

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This page contains a single entry published on December 26, 2006 4:01 PM.

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