Most helpful positive review
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2012
A Woman Under The Influence is one of the great films, not just of the 70s but since the beginning of cinema, it has such grandeur in its intimacy, such emotion, and it fearlessly sustains this over two and a half hours. Gena Rowlands gives a performance that no adjective can adequately describe, it takes you so much into the heart and soul of this woman who seems to be having such difficulty keeping it together - although I remember Cassavetes saying in an interview that she was quite normal and that it would be just as reasonable to see the husband and others as really having the problems, not her. She just didn't fit into society's expectation of how a wife and mother should behave ... however one sees this - and the question is surely at the heart of the film - Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk make one of the most memorable and touching screen couples, getting a tremendous range of feeling and tone into the portrayal of these lives - and humour as well. I'm sure anyone who has seen the film will forever think of the name Mabel in a different way; Gena Rowlands becomes her so completely and the camera just doesn't flinch, so she becomes one of the most complete embodiments of a certain mode of being and feeling that has ever been caught on screen. It's a film that has to be seen by anyone who really cares about what the medium can do - ideally on the big screen, but failing that, on DVD.