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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Woody's best drama. Highly recommended.
`Another Woman', written and directed by Woody Allen, is his third and, I believe, last totally serious film, following hard on `September' and several films after his first drama, `Interiors'. Like both earlier dramas, and unlike most of his comedies, the locations are strictly limited to a few interiors and a few nondescript street scenes. The cast may well be the most...
Published on June 3, 2005 by B. Marold

versus
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Talk, talk, talk
No, not talk between characters, but narration. Narration is OK to start a plot rolling, but Allen uses it for a crutch through the entire movie. Another reviewer compared it with Bergman's "Wild Strawberries". There, narration is used to describe dream sequences, but the narration does not substitute for action or interaction as it does for "Another Woman" It IS...
Published on January 11, 2012 by From Elder


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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Woody's best drama. Highly recommended., June 3, 2005
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This review is from: Another Woman (DVD)
`Another Woman', written and directed by Woody Allen, is his third and, I believe, last totally serious film, following hard on `September' and several films after his first drama, `Interiors'. Like both earlier dramas, and unlike most of his comedies, the locations are strictly limited to a few interiors and a few nondescript street scenes. The cast may well be the most distinguished ever assembled in an Allen movie, headed up by Gina Rowlands, Gene Hackman, John Houseman, Mia Farrow, and Ian (Bilbo Baggins) Holm. The second rank of actors alone would light up a lesser movie, including Blythe Danner, Betty Buckley, Sandy Dennis, Harris Yulin, and David Ogden Stiers. Some of these well-recognized names and faces such as Blythe Danner and David Ogden Stiers appear in a single scene with but a handful of lines. Even John Houseman has but one scene on camera and about a half dozen lines. It is unusual that while Stiers will appear in several later Allen films, the only actor who has appeared in Allen's earlier films was Farrow.

This movie refutes all modest claims on Allen's part to not being an intellectual. His background dialogue and scenes are chocked full of references to high German culture, including the poet Rainer Marie Rilke, the playwright, Bertolt Brecht, the philosopher, Martin Heidigger, and the Viennese painter, Gustav Klimt. These are certainly not gratuitous references, as the principle character Marion, played by Rowlands is the chairman of the Philosophy department at an important college in or near Manhattan who, as the film opens, is beginning on writing a book on philosophy, probably a history or analysis of a major philosopher's work rather than an original work. Marion gets her intellectual heritage from her father, played by both Houseman as an old man and Stiers as a younger man, who is an important professor of history.

This intellectual landscape may not be convincing if it were not for Allen's most successful use of one of his most powerful devices of mixing the worlds of reality, imagination, fiction, and dreams. While this conceit is pushed over the edge in `Deconstructing Harry', it is used subtly and to great effect in this movie. The reality is the emotional turmoil of Marion's life based on a marriage which began in illicit liaisons and which is now in crisis based on its own weakness and the strain put upon it by novelist / suitor Larry (played by Gene Hackman), who adds to the reality / fiction theme by stating that he has used Marion as one of the characters in his latest novel.

Marion, her husband (Ian Holm) and her best childhood friend Claire (Sandy Dennis) all seem to be raw nerves where the least provocation set them off into arguments over their relations. One can add that most of this is due to the fact that they are seeing an illusory view of their relations, or, are being driven much more by emotion than by reason.

Mia Farrow's role, Hope, in this movie is odd. She was scheduled to play the Gena Rowlands part until she became pregnant with her son by Allen, Satchel. Thus, like her role in the comedy `Radio Days', her part is something of a sidebar until near the end of the movie, when her character meets Marion. Appropriate to the name `Hope', contact with Farrow's character is the device that brings Marion out of the emotional turmoil.

Like `September', we seem to come upon the characters in the middle of their lives, live through an especially difficult episode in their lives, and leave them just as they barely manage to get their heads above the emotional waters that engulfed them. There is no sense that there is a great renewal that will magically improve their lives from now on.

The cinematographer for this film is the great Swedish Ingemar Bergman collaborator, Sven Nykvist. As most of Allen's other lensmen were no slouches in their own right, the change is not immediately apparent. The camera work seems to maintain it's usual very high quality, with a distinct softening in color. Most things seem to be in warm shades of brown and tan, rather than the jarringly prominent reds and greens you see in film color nowadays.

Rowlands' performance is every bit as good as her considerable reputation would lead one to expect. Farrow's performance is much like her soft spoken `Rosemary's Baby' and `Purple Rose of Cairo' persona rather than the very strong presence she give for `Broadway Danny Rose' or `Radio Days'.

Due mostly to the richly imaginative emotional world of the principle characters, this is a movie one can watch many times over and still get new things from the interactions between the strong personalities brought together here. If you had no feeling for `September' and `Interiors', then don't bother with this film. But, if you really like Allen's movies and have not seen either of these other two dramas, then I suggest you start with `Another Woman' and move on to `September' if you like this one.

Unlike virtually every other director I like, such as Stanley Kubrick and Ridley Scott, Allen seems to show gradual growth and improvement over the years. Some of his later movies are weaker than his best early ones such as `Annie Hall' and `Manhattan', but on average, he gets better with age, and this is one of the best signs of that growth.

Highly recommended to Allen fans and film drama fans in general.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME is an understatement..., December 14, 2001
By 
Jack-O-Lantern (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Another Woman (DVD)
This is an absolutely awe-inspiring film from Woody Allen.
Not in any way a lighthearted romp, this is rather a soul-wrenching film which literally forced me to re-evaluate my life, as it does on each subsequent viewing (of which there have been many).
Not giving away any plot details, suffice it to say that Gena Rowlands is simply magnificent here. In a mere 80+ minutes, you will be convinced, as am I, that this is one of our greatest living actresses and a true legend (for another great Rowlands performance, do not miss Cassavettes' earlier "A Woman Under the Influence").
If you are in any way thoughtful and/or introspective about your life and what you've accomplished (or haven't accomplished), do NOT miss this. Also: be prepared to look at yourself not as you perceive yourself, but rather as OTHERS see you, which (for me anyway) was very disconcerting but also extremely enlightening.
This is one of a handful of truly great modern dramatic films which literally raised the bar for all filmmakers to come.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You should be the actress", March 5, 2005
By 
Sebastian Fernandez (Tampa, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Another Woman (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.

As it is usual in Allen's movies, there are coincidences galore with chance encounters that reunite old friends and current acquaintances, but the story remains believable all the time. One of the most notable aspects of the film is the outstanding cast, with Rowland playing her role to perfection and other renowned actors and actresses adding their fair share. The performance of Gene Hackman is praiseworthy, and even though his participation is fairly brief, he leaves a lasting impression. If you have not seen any films by Woody Allen, this one is as good a place as any to start.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gena Rowlands and Sandy Dennis--Legends, November 25, 2001
By 
Collin Kelley (Atlanta, Georgia United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Another Woman (DVD)
I think I may have reviewed the video version of this, but it won't hurt to review it again. The extras on this DVD are fairly useless, but who cares? It's just fantastic to have a sharp digital copy of this classic film. It's my favorite by Woody Allen (just behind Interiors, Crimes and Misdemeanors and Annie Hall). Of course THE reason to watch this film is the great Gena Rowlands and Sandy Dennis. Yes, folks, it's dark and depressing and sometimes painful to watch. The dialogue could have been tweaked, but my, oh, my when it works it is devastating. The encounter between Rowlands and Dennis (who play estranged friends) at a bar is one of the best written and acted scenes ever committed to celuloid. This was Sandy Dennis' last film and she tears through that moment with such visceral rage. The complexity of this one scene reverberates throughout the film. Rowland's character, Marion, is a by-the-book, emotionally cold college professor. Through wonderfully observed flashbacks (that defy time and logic really)we discover that Marion was once a passionate artist and student and now all that is buried under a thick layer of delusion. Her life and the things happening around her are not what they seem, but she is has deluded herself for so long that it all slips by her. The supporting work here is, of course top notch. Gene Hackman is brilliant as a man who once loved Marion, Ian Holme is letter perfect as her proper husband, Betty Buckley has a one scene cameo that sets the tone early on for much of the story. One of the best movies ever made.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Spoilt life., November 26, 2001
This review is from: Another Woman [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Many people boast about having no regrets; some even sing about it. These are almost always successful people, people who have been given a large slice of luck (in the form of, above average intelligence, talent, presented opportunities, parental support and encouragement, and nurturing early experiences.) and have made the right decisions in early life. Of course, if asked to account for their success they will almost invariably say, "Hard work." Part of the answer no doubt, but far from the whole. To have regrets seems to many people to be faint-hearted and self-pitying; it means looking back from an unhappy present and thinking, "What might have been, if only I had done such and such instead of......
Marion. (Gena Rowlands), the protagonist of this film, an outwardly successful and well respected University Professor, has reached the age of fifty without having any self-doubt; she is proud of her achievements and her life-style - or so she has convinced herself. Until one day, in a room she has rented in which to write a book, she hears a woman's voice coming through the ventilator shaft from the psychiatrist's surgery next door. This voice awakens her to her present condition and causes her to question her life. She comes to realise that some decisions she had made in the past, and some of her actions, have brought misery on herself and others. She drove her first husband to suicide by refusing to give him the child he desperately wanted - the child she wishes she now had; she stole her present husband away from his first wife; she alienated by her behaviour both her best friend and her brother; and, worst of all, she refused the offer of love and marriage from a good, warm-hearted, generous man, Larry (Gene Hackman), in order to remain faithful to her cold unresponsive husband Ken (Ian Holm), who she later discovers is unfaithful to her.
("How can you do this?" she says to Larry, "He's your friend." "Yes." replies Larry, "He is my friend and I love him. But he's a prig and he's cold and stuffy."
Can such a person be loved?) She now regrets all of this - but too late. She must now live with the consequences - with the unhappiness she has brought on herself and others. She realises that a successful career and the respect of colleagues is not enough, that her bad choices in life have made her into a sad and disappointed woman.
Woody Allen was determined to make a deeply serious film without a hint of humour. And he has succeeded. The whole complex film is quietly depressing and is told in such a way, with flash-backs, dream-sequences, and voice-overs, that you have to keep your wits about you to follow the densely plotted story-line and grasp the meaning of it all - or maybe I'm just stupid. It is quite amazing the detail he manages to pack in to 87 minutes.
There are some very dramatic moments; when for instance her husband's ex-wife Kathy (Betty Buckley), invades her anniversary celebrations and denounces her; and when on meeting an old friend Claire (Sandy Dennis), with her current partner, she arouses a storm of anger by repeating the same error that drove her friend away in the first place; so engrossing the attention of the man she is talking to that he becomes oblivious to Claire and everyone else.
For people who like films that are serious, philosophic and have a message, films that give you something to think and talk about, this is the film for you.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling, October 31, 2001
By 
disco75 "disco75" (State College, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Another Woman (DVD)
"Another Woman" vies for my favorite film of all time. I never tire of watching it, and I have watched many times by now. It is a fascinating account of a woman's re-assessment of her life after having a series of enlightenments. In some ways similar to the novel "The Address Book" by Anne Bernays, the film explores in serious ways what Allen's "Alice" looked at in comedy. "Another Woman," however, uses excavation of the past and reframing of one's perspective to accomplish the change. As the character wonders at the conclusion of the film, "is a memory something you have, or something you've lost?"
While the themes may be familiar in Allen's work, his inspiration for this project was, of course, Bergman's "Wild Strawberries." The context for Allen's project is the upper class New York setting of multiple marriages, shrink's offices, classy restaurants, and art. Klimt's "Hope," Satie's gymnopedie, and German philosophy provide rich symbols for the psychology of Gena Rowland's character.
Disciplined and somewhat constricted, she has accomplished a good deal and made true on her father's driving hopes for her achievements. However strong she is, the depth of her feelings is lacking. The professor fails to see how others feel about her, aside from their obvious respect for her accomplishments and perhaps intimidation by her force of will. What does not fit into her plan for her life, she overcomes by ignoring. This repression leaves her ripe for upheaval following her 50th birthday.
A series of rich memories are evoked when her thoughts are jarred out of complacency by overheard fragments of a psychotherapist's work next door to her writing apartment. Moved by the idea of making a different sense of one's past in therapy, the professor begins experiencing small, revealing encounters with the signficant people in her life. She begins to see that the self concept she harbored for so long is not congruent with the image others hold of her. Her repression begins to crumble.
An interesting question is whether the Mia Farrow character, patient of the therapist, actually exists or is a symbol of the professor's denied, unfulfilled Hopes. It seems to be through encounters with the patient that the professor comes into contact with players from her past. Perhaps this phantom is her repressed ego letting her know that the time has come for opening her eyes to more of the truth and for change to be permitted.
In any event, the script is layered and absorbing, Allen's construction of the New York world is seamless, and the acting is pitch perfect. Rowlands in particular is compelling. The film creates a spell, an encapsulated world that commands attention until the very end. Interestingly, this is one of Allen's films that seems to polarize viewers. For every ecstatic opinion about "Another Woman" there is a scathing rejection. For my part, the film is part of my "Desert Island" must-haves. I feel like I have been enriched by watching it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Allen's Better Films, March 29, 2008
This review is from: Another Woman (DVD)
At a friends today, she had Erik Satie on the CD player and Gymnopedie No.3 magically filled the room. Haunting and beautiful, this has to be one of my favourite pieces. Written for piano, it was the renowned Debussy who orchestrated the music, adding to its charm. Then it came to me, what film features this wonderful piece of music?...suddenly clear: Another Woman, Directed and Written by Woody Allen. (1988)

Out of a slew of Allen's so-called "serious" films, this is without a doubt his most well written and directed pieces' without a hint of pretention.

Gena Rowlands delivers a superlative performance in the role of Professor Marion Post, in the midst of attempting to finish her book, she hires a flat in Manhatten for the isolation and "piece & quiet" to finish it. Little does she know that a psychiatric practice next door will open up memories of her past, her relationships, her marriage and the choices she has made over her life that have altered her destiny.

As Marion works on her book, a desperate female voice can be heard filtering through the walls or heating vents. The patient (Mia Farrow) pours out her doubts and failed aspirations, pushing the professor into a reverie of self-analysis: the relationship with her father, played by John Houseman and the man she truly loved but turned away from - Larry Lewis, a stunning performance by Gene Hackman.

There is a particular scene where Larry (Hackman) asks, bordering on pleading, for Marion to come back to him. It is raining, of course, and they're standing under a famous bridge in the city while Satie's beautiful music plays in the background. One usually sees Hackman in "tough" roles, however, one never sees the sensitive man, a man truly in-love and expressing it with such gut-wrenching honesty. One of the more excellent scenes in the film.

This is a film concerning self- reflection, an attempt to be true to one's self, and the pain of having to do so. And once doing so, going back to those you hurt and trying to make some kind of amends; though most times, it's too late.

This film is about relationships and the choices we make in life.

Wonderfully crafted, beautifully acted and Erik Satie to boot...what more could you want?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Woody's version of "Wild Strawberries.", July 24, 2007
This review is from: Another Woman (DVD)
Marion, a distinguished author and philosophy professor, rents a small apartment-office to write her latest book. Through the vent, however, she can overhear conversations from the psychiatrist's office next door--particularly those between the psychiatrist and a distraught woman patient whose life apparently is in crisis. At first Marion tries to shut out the voices, but soon she finds herself listening compulsively, as the other woman's story brings back unwelcome yet compelling memories from her own life. This is the basic story of Woody Allen's "Another Woman," one of his most serious films and--along with "Interiors"--his most obvious tribute to Ingmar Bergman. "Another Woman" is a fascinating variation on Bergman's "Wild Strawberries"--Marion, like the Victor Sjostrom character in the Bergman film, is a high-minded intellectual who comes to the realization that she has lived far too much in her own mind, in the process cutting off other people and avoiding life. That realization comes to her through memories, dreams, and chance encounters with various people--all unsettling and disturbing, but in the end salutary. At one point Marion quotes Rilke's sonnet "Archaic Torso of Apollo": "There is no place that does not see you. You must change your life." That is the epigraph for the entire film, and if Allen sometimes has his characters state their intentions too baldly, nevertheless he has crafted a delicate, elegant and hypnotic chamber drama. Above all, Gena Rowlands as Marion gives what I consider the best performance in any Allen film, indeed one of the best performances ever by any film actress. To see Rowlands' performance is to see the range of dramatic possibilities in a human face, and "Another Woman" is a tribute to both Rowlands' genius as an actor and to Allen's genius as a director of actors. "Another Woman" contains perhaps the finest cast ever assembled for an Allen film--besides Rowlands' brilliant star turn, there are excellent supporting performances by a cornucopia of superb players including Mia Farrow (as the woman in the psychiatrist's office), Gene Hackman, Sandy Dennis, Ian Holm, John Houseman, Harris Yulin, Blythe Danner, Philip Bosco, Betty Buckley and David Ogden Stiers. With brilliant photography by Sven Nykvist (Bergman's usual cinematographer), "Another Woman" stands as one of the major accomplishments of both Allen's and Rowlands' careers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST SEE FILM!, July 25, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Another Woman [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Woody Allen's "serious" films can make some viewers, who are fans for his comedies, cringe. Though sometime they are heavy-handed and humorless, I find them nonetheless fascinating because of the themes he chooses to deal with. And "Another Woman" is no different, but maybe even more interesting - because for a change, he chose to do a film thru a woman's eyes, who reevaluates her life. The film remains one of my favorite of Woody's, despite flaws, because of it's intelligence, mood of intimacy and great ensamble of actors. It is very rewarding to see the one-of-a-kind Gena Rowlands in a role very different from her previous ones. With her facial expressions, she conveys each emotion without uttering a word - and she needn't. All of us understand. She makes the journey of Marion all the more fascinating.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mature Woody, August 4, 2002
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This review is from: Another Woman (DVD)
Woody Allen's seventeenth film, `Another Woman,' is one of his greatest accomplishments. While one can argue that it owes thematic and visual debts to Ingmar Bergman, Allen's work here remains solely his own. In numerous interviews, Allen claimed to feel more attracted to serious, dramatic works than to comedic ones - it just so happened that he was given a talent for comedy. In `Another Woman,' Allen proves he has the potential to be a great dramatic filmmaker. After seeing this film, one wishes that he had devoted more time to creating works such as this (although he does have two other dramatic masterpieces: `Interiors' and `September').
`Another Woman' offers a glimpse into the mind of a successful philosophy professor named Marion. The movie follows the trail of her thoughts as they drift from attention to world around her to the deepest realms of her dreams and thoughts. Allen chose to use voice-over narration to progress the film. In most cases, I have been opposed to this technique - feeling that film is essentially a visual medium and should concern itself primarily with images rather than words. However, `Another Woman' proves to be the rule's exception. Marion's narration depicts the method in which she attempts to put her life in order and to block her own perceptive abilities.
`Another Woman,' while exposing the numerous social complexities we all face, may concern itself predominately with the idea of perception. Marion, a philosophy professor, is awaiting the anniversary of her marriage to a doctor named Ken - with whom she had an affair with years ago. Both Ken and Marion have failed marriages behind them and both have been criticized for being `cold.'
Gena Rowlands' rendition of Marion is that of a woman who places such emphasis on appearing composed and intelligent that she fails to realize that her friends and family, the ones who care for her and depend on her, all resent her in one fashion or another. In her `perfection' Marion has positioned herself above all others - assuming the right to judge those around her. What makes Rowlands' performance so memorable is her ability to make the audience care for this seemingly cold woman; we realize the good intentions behind her actions, as do we sense Marion's inability to see the nature of her own actions.
Gene Hackman (who played the part of Harry Caul so brilliantly in `The Conversation' - one of my favorite films) turns in an effective performance as well, although his screen time is somewhat limited. He plays the one man in Marion's life that is capable to see the passion within her. Hackman's character probably understands Marion better than anyone; and it is with regret in the end that she looks back on her missed opportunity with him.
The film unfolds in a mesmerizing fashion. `Another Woman' shows us the inside of a woman who gradually begins to lose her grip on the delusions she crafted for herself. The cinematography, done by the legendary Sven Nykvist, is among Allen's most accomplished works in color; each image flows into the next, making us almost forget the non-linear nature of the movie's almost stream-of-consciousness technique. Choosing to work in this manner, Allen became free to do anything he wanted. With `Another Woman,' Allen has accomplished a subtle film that touches on many feelings, but comes together to form a thoroughly entertaining motion picture.
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Another Woman
Another Woman by Woody Allen (DVD - 2001)
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