5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A dose of magical-realism from Woody Allen.,
This review is from: Alice [DVD] (DVD)
Alice, the film, has much to recommend it. A great performance from Mia Farrow, some very fun and very funny episodes and an unlikely streak of magical-realism courtesy of a miraculous mandarin.
At first I was resistant, finding myself bored with the cliche Allen vocabulary and set-up amongst the bored, spoiled rich people of Manhattan, but this quickly passed as Alice's visit to a Chinese doctor dispensed with the physical complaint and moved into psychology. Her pursuit of greater understanding of her life and her history is often very insightful but just occasionally a tad dull. The elements of fantasy help a great deal, and there are some very nice jokes, but I felt, for example, the richness of Joe Mantegna's voice going begging with the lacklustre script given to him. Only the potion episode gives him a chance to light up.
One cannot fail to be impressed, again and again, by Allen's ability to capture believeable conversations, especially between women. But? The love affair, the talk of passion and wild abandon: that's a problem. It never materializes. Things never heat up. the closest we get is a terrific moment where Alice is transformed into a vamp intent on seducing the man she's attracted to.
It's better than Another Woman, and is well worth seeing for Mia Farrow's performance. William Hurt plays the conceited husband with aplomb, but I felt at that stage of his career he deserved better. The man who plays Dr Yang is excellent.
Very good, but not great.