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When he discovers his adopted son is a genius, a New York sportswriter seeks out the boy's birth mother: a prostitute.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Pamela Blair ...
Rene Ceballos ...
Greek Chorus (as René Ceballos)
Elie Chaib ...
George De La Pena ...
Joanne DiMauro ...
...
...
Greek Chorus (as Marianne Filali)
Angelo Fraboni ...
Scott Fowler ...
Seth Gertsacov ...
Patti Karr ...
Fred Mann III ...
John Mineo ...
Christopher Nelson ...
Valda Setterfield ...
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Storyline

Lenny and Amanda have an adopted son Max who turns out to be brilliant. Lenny becomes obsessed with finding Max's real parents because he believes that they too must be brilliant. When he finds that Linda Ash is Max' real mother, Lenny is disappointed. Linda is a prostitute and porn star. On top of that, she is quite possibly the dumbest person Lenny has ever met. Interwoven is a Greek chorus linking the story with the story of Oedipus. Written by Jason Ihle <jrihl@conncoll.edu>

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The new comedy from Woody Allen


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sex-related material | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

10 November 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Poderosa Afrodita  »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$6,700,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Mono)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After its limited release in October 1995, Mira Sorvino received her Academy Award nomination. When it was released nationally in January of 1996 the television ads for the film was re-edited to make it seem that Sorvino's character was on the telephone thanking the Academy for the nomination. See more »

Goofs

In the scene after Cassandra tells Lenny that his knee caps will be broken, the shadow of a boom mic is visible "following" him as he paces while talking on the phone to Amanda. See more »

Quotes

Kevin: I've had 16 fights and I won all of them but 12.
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Crazy Credits

The Greek Chorus does the "When You're Smiling (The Whole World Smiles At You)" song-and-dance production number over half the credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Wild Man Blues (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

The 'In' Crowd
(1965)
Written by Billy Page
Performed by Ramsey Lewis
Courtesy of MCA Records
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User Reviews

Witty as always with a good variation on the usual Woody Allen themes
2 April 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Sports writer Lenny Weinrib is married to Amanda. Amanda decides she wants a child but can't afford to take a year away from her art gallery projects, so they adopt. Over the years the child strengthens their marriage and turns out to be incredibly clever and gifted. Curious about his parents Lenny sets out to find Max's mother (understanding the father to be dead). Expecting her to be intelligent he is surprised to locate a hooker who aspires to make it to Broadway and is working her way their in adult movies. He tries to get to know her and seeks to better her lot in life by getting her out of the game so that his son won't grow up to locate his mother to find she is an aging porn star. This causes tensions between Lenny and Linda but also at home as the cracks in his marriage begin to show.

Woody Allen's films do tend to be similar if not the same – certainly the last few years have seen him return to a regular light comedy style (I'm not complaining). However they potentially could be all the same. Here he cleverly mixes Greek tragedy into the story to make it sufficiently different. The story is certainly different, with a hooker taking center stage, however Allen's trade mark wit is still very much on show. The Greek chorus line is merely a different way of delivering his usual one liners and funny observations and doesn't distract at all. It's very straight forward, but the Greek touch makes it feel fresh and new.

Woody Allen is as good as ever – he maybe looks a bit old, but he's so good at what he does that after 5 minutes it doesn't matter. Sorvino is excellent in a daffy role – it's not the sort of role usually rewarded by awards but she deserved the Oscar for a funny performance. Bonham-Carter is not very good as an `Noo Yorka' girl but luckily she has little screen time. The support cast is full of quality and lots of well known (if not famous) faces in small roles, F Abraham Murray is the head of the chorus line but the support includes Peter Weller, Jack Warner, Tony Siricio (Soprano's Paulie), Michael Rapaport, Paul Giamatti – the list goes on.

Overall this is yet another quality product from Woody Allen, it's hardly ground breaking stuff but when someone can be consistently this good year after year then you've got to give him his dues.


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