This is one of Woody Allen's best films to date, combining some of his finest serious writing about relationships, in the style of HANNAH AND HER SISTERS, with humor that's all the more effective thanks to its dark, edgy context.
Allen has rounded up all the usual suspects for his latest look at the foibles, romantic and otherwise, of a group of privileged Manhattanites. They include Gabe Roth (Allen), a distinguished novelist and writing professor; his wife Judy (Mia Farrow), an editor at a prestigious art magazine; Jack
(real-life film director Sydney Pollack), a chronically unfaithful businessman; and his wife Sally (Judy Davis), a woman so fiercely critical of everything that she is literally never satisfied.
HUSBANDS AND WIVES leads us through the break-up of both marriages, via a trio of passionate infatuations--Jack with his aerobics instructor (Lysette Anthony), Gabe with a 21-year-old student (Juliette Lewis), and Sally with a colleague (Liam Neeson) of Judy's. It ends with one of the couples
attempting a reconciliation, chastened by the realization that everlasting romantic love is a misleading, befuddling myth.
The film is greatly indebted to the improvisatory, pseudo-verite style of John Cassavetes, with a hand-held camera either dodging and wheeling around the characters, or sitting stationary as they volunteer information directly to the screen. The effect is of an artless, spontaneous attempt to
capture life in the raw, but it belies a cannily crafted structure which uses both flashbacks and ellipses to lay bare the lives of its subjects. The acting is flawless throughout, with top honors going to Davis, who blazes through the picture with devastating intensity and honesty. It's an
urgent, unsettling performance, perfectly complemented by Pollack, who projects quiet ease and authenticity in this, his first major role.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1992
- Rating: R
- Review: This is one of Woody Allen's best films to date, combining some of his finest serious writing about relationships, in the style of HANNAH AND HER SISTERS, with humor that's all the more effective thanks to its dark, edgy context. Allen has rounded up all… (more)