A director is forced to work with his ex-wife, who left him for the boss of the studio bankrolling his new film. But the night before the first day of shooting, he develops a case of psychosomatic blindness.
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.
Two London brothers are hard-up for cash, and both have girls to look out for, too. When rich Uncle Howard comes to town and agrees to help them out, he admits his finances are under investigation, and he asks them to do him a favor and "take care of" an old business relation to keep his trouble under wraps - he says that they're family, and since he always takes care of them, the least they could do is help him out this once, as they're the only ones he can trust. The film follows their struggle with the immorality of this request and how each brother chooses to deal with it. Written by
When Woody Allen first approached Philip Glass about doing the film's score, they had an initial meeting in which Glass played him a particularly ominous piece of music. Allen remarked that it was a very heavy section of music and that it would be perfect for establishing the dark mood of the film. Glass interjected with the fact that the music he'd just played was actually the love theme and he hadn't gotten round to writing anything ominous yet! See more »
The ashtray and the cigarette pack keep appearing and disappearing on the table when Terry is eating with his whole family in the beginning of the movie. See more »
Ah, she's a beauty! I mean, look her - she's not new, but she looks new. He said the engine needed work.
I could do the engine.
I can't believe he's asking so little. It's practically a steal.
John Anderson said we could keep it at his marina - free of charge - at least for a year till his son comes back.
Ah, here he comes. Don't show you're too eager or he won't budge on the price, all right?
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Woody Allen has a genius for creating fully fledged characters in minimum time. A few minutes into the opening scene which shows the two brothers buying a boat that they cannot afford, we already understand that theirs is a genuine, close and mutually supportive relationship a relationship which will be severely tested later on.
Two brothers aspiring to improve their lives in very different ways: one hoping to win enough money through gambling on dogs and poker, the other through investing in restaurants and property in Los Angeles.
Two brothers who both need money for very different reasons: one to escape the clutches of loan sharks who would break his legs, the other to escape to LA with the beautiful, sophisticated woman of his dreams.
Two brothers dealing with guilt and remorse in very different ways: one suffering ever deepening mental anguish and sleepless nights, the other pragmatically shrugging off "the past" as he ambitiously plans his future.
Shot in London, with an all British cast, the standard of acting is of the highest quality. The brothers' contrasting personalities are played to perfection by Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor. Hayley Atwell (who like McGregor, also trained at the Guildhall School in London), would give Scarlett Johansson a run for her money as the sexy, sultry, siren, while Sally Hawkins shines as Farrell's homely, happy girlfriend.
With unremarkable, minimalist music from Philip Glass, matched by minimalist opening and closing credits, and editing which leaves-in scenes which should have been taken out, the film gives the impression that it was made in a hurry.
Yes, this is a film from a Woody Allen, who is not at his very best. However, at nearly 72 years of age and after writing and directing over 40 films, receiving 3 Oscars and over 77 other awards, his genius is surely entitled to a day off. This time it is the actors who carry the day.
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