Homage to Ingmar Bergman in this family drama involving a fashionable Long Island interior designer who tries to impose her overbearing, critical standards on her husband and her three grown daughters. The film is a realistic look at the relationships among one artistically-oriented family; one daughter is a successful writer; the second is looking for an artistic outlet; and the third is an actress. The mother has been deserted by her husband, their father. She thinks and hopes they may reconcile, but she soon learns that he has other thoughts that circle about a new acquaintance, a woman who has had two husbands and is still lively. Written by
Interiors is one of the most divisive films of one of the most love-it-hate-it directors. For me Interiors is not one of Allen's best films(Annie Hall, Crimes and Misdemeanours, Manhatten, Hannah and Her Sisters, Husbands and Wives) with some dialogue monologues that ramble on a bit too much, but when it comes to his most underrated films Interiors is very high on the list. It is very easy to see why people wouldn't like it with how bleak it is and how it's different from much of what Allen has done, but those are hardly reasons to dismiss Interiors because apart from the occasional rambling it is a great film. It is very stylishly shot with good use of locations, probably Allen's second most visually striking 70s film after Manhattan. Like Annie Hall, there's no music score and that's not a bad thing at all, Interiors is a very intimate and intricate film and having no music added to that quality. Much of the dialogue is full of insight and pathos, to me it did have dramatic weight and it is one of Allen's most honest films along with Husbands and Wives. The screenplay is not "funny" as such and is not as quotable as Annie Hall, but it wasn't ever meant to be. The story is paced deliberately but how Interiors was written and performed ensures that it isn't dull, it was very moving(personally it didn't topple into melodrama) and layered storytelling- didn't notice any convolutions- deftly handled. Allen directs assuredly in one of his more restrained directing jobs. The characters are neurotic and not the most likable, but are written and performed with such compelling realism that in the end there is some sympathy felt for them. The cast was a talented one in the first place, and none of them disappoint. Especially good are Geraldine Page, in one of her best performances, in very frightening and heart-breakingly tormented form and Mary Beth Hurt, the centrepiece of the story and is very affecting. Maureen Stapleton is a breath of fresh air as the most lively character- an anti thesis to the rest of the characters but not an out of place one- and E.G. Marshall brings a great deal of quiet dignity. Diane Keaton when it comes to Woody Allen films is better in Annie Hall and Manhattan but plays a purposefully shrill character with gusto. Richard Jordan and Sam Waterson are fine. Kristin Griffith is good too but her part seemed underwritten. All in all, won't be for everybody but a great film from personal perspective and one of Woody Allen's most underrated. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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