Suffering from writer's block and eagerly awaiting his writing award, Harry Block remembers events from his past and scenes from his best-selling books as characters, real and fictional, come back to haunt him.
The anthology that include three short films that take place in New York City was made by three great American directors, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, and Francis Ford Coppola.
"Life Lessons" directed by Martin Scorsese, literally took my breath away - it made me want to rewatch all Scorsese's films (with the one exception, GONY, though). What a magnificent work - visually it is as powerful as the painting Nolte's Lionel was painting. Combining in one short film Procul Harum's "A whiter shade of pale" and Puccini's "Nessun Dorma" from "Turandot" was a stroke of genius. This film is an ode to the power of talent; it is about greatness and curse of the gift, not about love to the woman. The best scene of the film and I'd say one of the best ever made about the Artist's work is Nolte triumphantly painting his masterpiece - his love, desire, lust, cries, whispers, tears, and humiliations magically transform with every stroke of his brush into the immortal, triumphant, brilliant work of art. By the time the painting is finished, he would need a new source of inspiration and self-torture, and the cycle will repeat over again. Devilishly clever portrait of an Artist as Not a Young Man. 9.5/10
I loved Woody Allen's "Oedipus Wrecks" and I think it is very funny and touching. Looks like Allen has met mothers or grandmothers like Mrs. Millstein in real life and his little gem is his love-hate letter to them. In the end, mom always knows what is best for her little boy. Mae Questel and Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson) were wonderful. Woody's face after his mom "disappears" and the scene when he practically makes love to the chicken drumstick are pure delight; also the commentary that New York is used to everything and readily accepts the crazy situation - it is so true. One of the best Allen's films I've seen lately - I am very glad that I finally saw it.
Larry David ("Seinfeld", "Curb Your Enthusiasm") plays the Theater Manager. It made me think if Estelle Costanza created by David and Mrs. Millstein (Woody's omnipresent mother) have a lot in common in making the lives of their sons miserable and smothering them with their merciless love? 9/10
Coppola's "Life Without Zoë" was much weaker than Scorsese's and Allan's stories and paled in comparison - this episode "from the lives of the reach and beautiful" was pretty and cute but you can skip it. 5/10
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