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

Thursday, September 10, 2009


SHADOWS AND FOG (1991). Written and directed by Woody Allen.

In a small dream-like town a timid soul named Kleinman (Woody Allen) is woken out of bed and told he must join a vigilante group that is looking for a man who is going about strangling townspeople. This is a backdrop for Kleinman's encountering a variety of individuals as he wanders through the streets, foremost among them circus performer Irmy (Mia Farrow). Breaking up with her boyfriend, Irmy winds up at a brothel where she runs into hookers improbably played by Kathy Bates, Jodie Foster, and Lily Tomlin, and even takes on a one-time client (John Cusack) who offers her a lot of money. There are a great many other characters, and a great many actors in the movie (including Madonna, John Malkovich and Donald Pleasance), but while it has intriguing elements and holds the attention, when it's over you may feel it was much ado about literally nothing. Shadows and Fog indeed! The script seems thrown together from bits and pieces, but the acting is generally good.

Verdict: Like a meal with tasty ingredients but which ultimately is unsatisfying. **.

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