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Woody Allen Collection: Volume 2 [DVD]
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The second installment of the 'Woody Allen Collection' featuring five more films from the acclaimed writer-director. In 'Interiors' (1978), three sisters (Diane Keaton, Mary Beth Hurt and Kristin Griffith) try to come to terms with themselves and their family when their father Arthur (E.G. Marshall) decides to divorce their mother (Geraldine Page) to enable him to marry a lively middle-aged woman (Maureen Stapleton). In 'Manhattan' (1979), Isaac Davis (Allen) is a TV writer, frustrated in both career and his lovelife. An on-off affair with teenage drama student Tracy (Mariel Hemingway) is blighted by his anxiety about their age difference, whilst his attraction to the pretentious Mary (Keaton) is complicated by the fact that she is already having an affair with his married friend Yale (Michael Murphy). Meanwhile, his lesbian ex-wife (Meryl Streep) prepares to dish the dirt about their marriage in a forthcoming book. In 'A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy' (1982), three couples spend a 'quiet' weekend together for the wedding of one of them. Inventor Andrew (Allen) and Adrian are the hosts, while his cousin Dr Leopold has arrived to marry his fiancée Ariel (Mia Farrow). However, Andrew begins to lust after Ariel, as does Dr Maxwell Jordan (Tony Roberts), who has brought along his nurse, Dulcy. There follows a multitude of seductions and sexual misadventures with the bride and groom saying 'I do' to everyone but each other. In 'Zelig' (1983), in America during the years of the Depression, Leonard Zelig (Allen) uses his chameleon-like powers to become a minor celebrity. He is seen watching Babe Ruth making a home run, cheering Adolph Hitler and rubbing shoulders with Roosevelt. Zelig becomes so celebrated that a psychiatrist (Farrow) takes him on as a patient, and soon falls in love with him. Finally, in 'Broadway Danny Rose' (1984), a hopeless theatrical agent (Allen) tries to revive the career of one of his singers, who is involved with the Mafia. Suddenly the agent finds himself at the centre of a gangland war.
Top Customer Reviews
Interiors (1978) ***1/4 A totally serious, almost theatrical examination of the meltdown of a rich, WASPy family might seem worlds away from anything Allen's earlier films prepared us for, but for the most part he's very up to the task, creating a gallery of disturbing and unforgettable moments and characters. Yes, it's derivative of Bergman, but it's also pretty damn good. Beautifully photographed by Gordon Willis, with amazing performances (Geraldine Page, Mary Beth Hurt, Maureen Stapleton in particular are brilliant, but everyone is good). The script does border on cliché at moments, and some specific dialogue is clunky, but there's something deeply moving and hard to shake in it's overall final effect. Under appreciated in its time, it's faults now seem very forgivable, and there's excitement in watching a great filmmaker stretch his talent in a new direction.
Manhattan (1979) ***3/4 One of the most stunningly beautiful to look at films of the last 50 years, made with great wit, and full of strong observations about loss, aging, and how we lie to ourselves. Still, it doesn't quite rise to the level of `Annie Hall' for me in terms of timelessness or emotional impact. A film I really, really like, respect, see why others have it on their '10 best of all time' lists, etc. but feel guilty that I can't flat out love. Somehow all the adult characters' self-obsessed narcissism keeps me at arms length. I identify with moments, but -- unlike Annie Hall - not the whole.Read more ›