Another Woman 1988

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(10) IMDb 7.4/10
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Woody Allen's 17th film. Gena Rowland plays Marion, an academic who rents a flat in which to write a book on philosophy and becomes intrigued by conversations she overhears from a psychologist's office next door. One patient, Hope (Mia Farrow), has a particular effect on Marion forcing her to re-think many of her assumptions about her own life: her unhappy marriage; her feelings for another man (Gene Hackman); and her relationships with her best friend (Sandy Dennis) and brother (Harris Yulin).

Starring:
Sandy Dennis, Ian Holm
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 17 minutes
Starring Sandy Dennis, Ian Holm, David Ogden Stiers, Martha Plimpton, Mia Farrow, Betty Buckley, John Houseman, Gena Rowlands, Harris Yulin, Philip Bosco, Blythe Danner, Gene Hackman
Director Woody Allen
Genres Drama
Studio MGM ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 19 August 2002
Main languages English
Dubbing Spanish, German, French
Subtitles Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, French
Hearing impaired subtitles German, English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Sebastian Fernandez on 5 Mar. 2005
Format: DVD
There are several aspects that make this movie excellent, including the intelligent dialogues, the psychological aspects of the narration and the fact that a complex story can be presented in only eighty minutes. These are some of the reasons why Woody Allen is considered by many to be one of the most gifted directors ever. Of course, those that usually do not like Allen's style will not find solace in this movie, but the rest of you will probably appreciate the quality of this production.
Marion Post (Rowland) is a philosophy professor who is taking a leave of absence to write a book and who has rented an apartment to be able to do this peacefully and without any interruptions. The apartment is next door to the office of a psychiatrist and she realizes that she can hear the sessions through the air vents. At first she covers the vents to prevent invading the patients' privacy, but later she hears the sad voice of a woman (Mia Farrow) after one of the cushions covering the vent moves from its place. From that moment on she is hooked and cannot help herself, so she continues eavesdropping into the sessions of the mysterious woman.
Marion starts identifying herself with some of the accounts of this woman and understands that she may actually be dissatisfied with her life too, mainly with her choice of husband and career. From that point forward the psychological aspects of the story become the central focus around which the action revolves. The dreams, memories and reality of Marion's life interact with each other, making us doubt at times if certain events are really happening or not. The final result is an interesting look at the psyche of the main character and her relationship with others.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Jan. 2004
Format: DVD
It's a shame that Woody Allen doesn't dare to make serious movies anymore. This is right up there with the best of Bergman, who has long influenced Allen's work. Everything about this film is perfect, with a sublime performance from Rowlands and Allen's masterful script which manages to be insightful, human and, despite his influences, entirely original.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By schumann_bg TOP 50 REVIEWER on 11 Feb. 2012
Format: DVD
Another Woman does that rare thing in cinema: it gives a voice to an intelligent person in mid-life considering the meaning of her own life and the choices she has made. You might think this would be a common thing to encounter but I can't think of any examples in British or American cinema where this is quite so clearly the case - except other films by Woody Allen (and John Huston's The Dead, from a male perspective). Here, however, the focus is largely on one character rather than the ensemble pieces he often makes. Gena Rowlands is brilliant in the part. She has the right voice for it and her general demeanor is absolutely on the mark for an academic-type. It is salutary to see how someone who has such insight into philosophy can be deluded about certain things and fallible in her perception of how others see her, as it suggests everyone is in the same boat really. No one can be too sure of these things because they are often so opaque; this seems to be one of the things the film illustrates. It is reminiscent of Bergman, but never goes too far in a Cries and Whispers direction, which makes it rather less harrowing to sit through. There is pain and confusion but it remains more contained. Allen himself has said he hasn't made anything that can stand comparison with figures like Bergman, but I think he may be being too modest! The performances are all strong; a lot of the film's success is down to Rowlands' remarkable screen presence, and she is well supported by Mia Farrow in a memorably plangent role, as well as Gene Hackman and Ian Holm.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AH Gunn on 30 Jun. 2008
Format: DVD
This may just be my favourite Woody film, despite it having none of the trademark humour of many of his films. It will certainly be, for this viewer, among the most enduring. Even the best jokes lose their potency, after all.

The plot is suggested very well by other reviews but what I feel worth elucidating is the depth of the central character, played by Gena Rowlands. Another Woman is not worth watching for witty one liners, cunning plot twists or even for a profound revelation about some grand human theme. It is about a woman discovering another woman to the one she thought she was. It is never clear which if either she really is. She, and the viewer, is skilfully left in the depths of quandary about this.

Upon reflection - and reflection is required to get anything out of the film - the film is a device to unravel her own self-evaluations (or our expectations of a self-reliant, intellectually distinguished woman of middle age in a happy marriage). Each development serves as a moment of introspective revelation to her, from which she is forced to ask difficult questions about herself and her relationships with those was are or used to be close to her. Each gives her cause to re-evaluate herself critically. There is another woman that she could have been, or actually was without ever knowingly being.

Allen has an enviable skill in telling this sort of story. The overall intention is opaque enough for none of these moments to seem in any way contrived, unnatural or unlikely, or for their underlying purpose to ever be pinned down to one theme or message (even my considered deduction seems crude to me in suggesting there is such a simple one).
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