Cecilia is a waitress in New Jersey during the Depression and is searching for an escape from her dreary life. Tom Baxter is a dashing young archaeologist in the film "The Purple Rose of Cairo." After losing her job Cecilia goes to see the film in hopes of raising her spirits. Much to her surprise Tom Baxter walks off the screen and into her life. There's only one problem..Tom isn't real. Meanwhile Hollywood is up in arms when they dicover that other Tom Baxters are trying to leave the screen in other theatres. Will Tom ever return and finish the film or will he decide to stay in the real world? Written by
Ricky Darbonne <email@example.com>
Woody's stories are often derivative, but he's forgiven that, usually, because the results are good and ultimately do deserve his signature. For PURPLE ROSE, he swipes Buster Keaton's gimmick in SHERLOCK, JR., then lets his imagination run free as he did in the best of his NEW YORKER stories. We wind up with the most fascinating and realistic meditation regarding what it is to be an audience, a viewer's relationship to art, art's relationship to reality. The triumph is amazing, because, despite the depth of the symbolism, PURPLE ROSE can also be seen as sheer entertainment; on its surface, it is still one of the most entertaining pictures Woody has ever made.
Farrow and Aiello are marvelous here; Mia, who is quite underrated, has only been as good once -- in BROADWAY DANNY ROSE. The photography is superb, influenced perhaps by Edward Hopper with generally less obvious light sources.
Splendid, splendid work.
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