Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


INTERIORS (1978). Director/writer: Woody Allen.

63-year-old Arthur (E. G. Marshall) tells his wife and three daughters that he wants to move out and be by himself for awhile. His wife Eve (Geraldine Page) foolishly imagines that he'll come back to her, and in this is humored by one of her daughters while another tries to make her see reality. Renata, a poetess (Diane Keaton), is married to a novelist (Richard Jordan) whose work fails to impress the critics. Her sister Flynn (Kristin Griffith) is an actress with an undistinguished career, and the third daughter, Joey (Marybeth Hurt), is still struggling to find herself. Renata says of Joey: "She has all the anguish and anxiety of the artistic personality without any of the talent." The situation leads inexorably to tragedy after Arthur gets a new woman, Pearl (Maureen Stapleton), in his life. Interiors is interesting and well-acted, but while Allen may not have wanted to just spell everything out, the film still needs more detail and character development. Dramatic things happen but the film doesn't always give us a chance to see the characters reacting to them. Interiors is Allen working in an Ingmar Bergman mode, although the film is not as deliberately-paced as anything by Bergman. Well-photographed by Gordon Willis. Sam Waterston has a small role as Joey's better half.

Verdict: Good enough to make you wish it were better. ***.

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