The saga of Tom Holmes - a man of principles - from the Great War to the Great Depression. Will he ever get a break? His war heroics earn fame and a medal for someone else, and his wounds ... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
After opening a convent in the Himalayas, five nuns encounter conflict and tension - both with the natives and also within their own group - as they attempt to adapt to their remote, exotic surroundings.
At the wedding of Albert and Anna, Karl, the new chauffeur, arrives. Albert is the head butler, second generation to the Baron. Karl soon seems out of place as a servant, and Albert tells ... See full summary »
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
A large ensemble cast, written, filmed, and directed with quiet force....
This is one of those dark, serious, realistic personal dramas that critics shook their heads at in 1978. It wasn't because it wasn't good--it's frankly a brilliant combination of the big three: acting, writing, photography. It was because it was directed (and written) by Woody Allen. And Woody Allen is funny, right? Critics at the time, however, to their credit, gave the film a fair reading, and for three brilliant excerpt of period reviews, I recommend the Wikipedia entry on the movie.
So watch this film thinking it's by someone else, if you have to. take it in on its own subtle terms as three sisters watch their own deficiencies bloom when their parents abruptly separate. There is some familiar territory here, actors Allen has turned to many times (including Diane Keaton, of course, who he was once, in 1970, involved with). The world is one that might actually be parallel to his own, not Jewish New York but rather a highly educated literary set with money and ambitions, but deeply steeped in the arts.
In short, "Interiors" was and is appreciated but always with a feeling that it isn't quite complete, that it isn't what it could have been. It's easy to see that it is unremittingly dour, almost to perversion. And you might say that it plays the Bergman card too hard without overt appropriation (which makes it merely derivative, that worst of echoes). It is fair, I suppose, to say that Allen really has succeeded, but not in the remarkable ways he had succeeded so clearly in his earlier films, including his previous nugget, "Annie Hall," which is in my view his first true drama, but which has the benefit of also being funny.
Or you can just sit back and take it in for what it does do so well, letting the interior lives of these people seem as shattered and pathetic as they really seem. The photography by Gordon Willis is admirable for being beautiful and inventive without being distracting. Allen and Willis make clear this intention with opening shots, a series of fixed camera views of rooms, and then views out windows, all framed with classic proportions, but sequenced to pull you in. But look how often the camera follows two people as they walk and talk, either up close in front of them, or along the beach through an irregular snow fence. Its pace and "tastefulness" of the photography almost seems designed by one of the main characters, the troubled interior decorator mother played with uncanny effectiveness by Geraldine Page.
Expect nothing in particular here except a tour-de-force that works on its own depressing terms.
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