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For 16 years, Alice Tate (Farrow) has been ignored by her husband (Hurt), spoiled by wealth, and tranquilized by boredom. But when she unexpectedly falls for a sexy musician (Mantegna) and impulsively consults a mysterious Chinese herbalist for advice, Alice begins a madcap journey into a strange new world of possibilities. But as she begins to realize who she is and what she values, Alice must also confront her deepest fears and decide how far she'll go for love and what she'll risk to change her destiny.
Alice is one of Woody Allen's more grounded whimsies, though viewers with a low tolerance for feyness might miss it. Here goes Mia Farrow again as a nattering Manhattanite with a girlie-girlie voice and a well-to-do husband of 16 years (a stockbroker played by William Hurt) who doesn't always notice whether she's in the room. One day a back pain sends her up a dim staircase in Chinatown to see an acupuncturist (the valedictory role of the beloved Keye Luke). He has quite a bag of tricks--including hypnosis and a versatile assortment of herbal teas--and enough insight to recognize that Alice's troubles lie somewhere other than her sacroiliac. Under Dr. Yang's ministrations, Alice goes on a Wonderland voyage through her own life, fantasizing about having an affair with a dusky stranger (Joe Mantegna), flitting about Manhattan as an invisible spirit, and--most unlikely of all--talking straight with her various relatives, past and present.
Like so many Allen films, Alice wavers between scenes imagined with deftness and precision (like Farrow and Mantegna's astonished mutual seduction) and other scenes and notions that are merely touched upon and then abandoned before they can develop any rhythm and complexity, persuade you they were worth including, and justify the presence of so many nifty performers--Judy Davis, Judith Ivey, Gwen Verdon, Robin Bartlett, Alec Baldwin, Holland Taylor, Cybill Shepherd, Blythe Danner, Julie Kavner, Caroline Aaron--who mostly wink in and out again as cameos. Nevertheless, almost all Woody's looking glasses are worth passing through at least once. --Richard T. Jameson
Many people have read "Alice in Wonderland." Many have seen the Disney version. Many never saw the tale told the way Woody Allen tells it. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Brian Gagnon
This was a sleeper for me. I just happened to see it on the late late late show on TV. I really love the story. Very good acting I thought and an inventive plot...good moviePublished 7 months ago by Wanda Crago
One of Woody's least seen but best films. I love this movie. It's sweet and very funny and the entire cast is great. Read morePublished 8 months ago by addison de witt
I did not finish this movie, I did not find it entertaining, informative, or worth investing my time into finishing it.Published 9 months ago by cmb&
Very funny, tender and sensitive but a tale of a woman struggling to become herself in the face of an inattentive and demeaning husband. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Lisbeth
I didn't like it I thought it was gonna be a horror movie.Published 10 months ago by Leslie M.Vasquez
Enough time has passed, since Allen wronged Ms. Farrow's children, to allow for my viewing his films.
I hope they're O.K.