Woody Allen delivers a haunting, "superbly constructed" (The Hollywood Reporter) film that examines the intricate world of human emotions and the delicate threads that hold them together. Beautifully acted by an all-star cast, including Mia Farrow, Sam Waterston, Dianne Wiest, Denholm Elliott, Elaine Stritch and Jack Warden, September illustrates "some of Allen's most powerfully ironic dialogue in years" (Screen International). After a devastating nervous breakdown, emotionally fragile Lane (Farrow) has returned to her childhood home in Vermont to recuperate. Buoyed by a summer romance with neighboring writer Peter (Waterston), Lane is soon determined to leave Vermont and start a new life. But when Peter's affections mysteriously cool, and Lane's overbearing mother arrives with a shocking announcement, Lane finds herself suddenly tangled in a destructive web of passion, deception and manipulation. Now her only way out of her emotional tailspin is to confront the fear she's never escaped a terrifying secret that has haunted her entire life.
is best known as the movie Woody Allen made twice, bang on top of each other, and still brought in on time and on budget. He decided the casting wasn't working, switched some actors and roles, and altogether dumped Sam Shepard (who subsequently had very uncomplimentary things to say about Allen as a director of actors). That was some kind of achievement and said reams about Allen's efficiency and adaptability as a filmmaker. Unhappily, the congratulations end there, for September
is the single most excruciating viewing experience the Woodman ever invited audiences to share.
You could say September is Interiors without the laughs (joke: there are no laughs in Interiors either), without the pull of the Hamptons shore outside the windows, and without the chill, elegant eye of Gordon Willis behind the camera. Members of a thoroughly unappealing family convene for a weekend in Vermont. Over the course of it, almost everybody reveals a lurking preference to have a new significant other in his or her life. You will not care who, how, or why, or acquire any insights into the mysteries of human relationships. Just as Maureen Stapleton brought the breath of life to the emotionally stunted mollusks in Interiors, so here Elaine Stritch injects some sting as Mia Farrow's irrepressibly bitchy mother. The other cast members are Sam Waterston, Dianne Wiest (fresh from her Hannah and Her Sisters Oscar®), Denholm Elliott, and Jack Warden. Them you may sympathize with, for theirs is a thankless task. --Richard T. Jameson