Marion is a woman who has learned to shield herself from her emotions. She hires an apartment to work undisturbed on her new book, but by some acoustic anomaly she can hear all that is said in the next apartment in which a psychiatrist holds his office.
The most extraordinarily enervating of Woody Allen’s recent run of self-satisfied art movies.
Gena Rowlands is a middle-aged academic married to surgeon Ian Holm and obsessed with pregnant psychiatric case Mia Farrow, who helps her recover her emotions in a manner cribbed from Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries. An assortment of pretentious people swap jokes about Heidegger, and Rowlands pores over her mother’s tear-stained volume of Rilke’s poetry while an offscreen pianist tinkles Gershwin or Eric Satie until you want to scream.
Brilliantly acted by, among others, Blythe Danner, Gene Hackman, Sandy Dennis, John Houseman, Martha Plimpton, David Ogden Stiers and Harris Yulin, this suggests that one of the reasons Woody goes for such distinguished casts for his heavyweight films is that he needs topnotch performers to make his clunky lines sound clever.
Poised, beautiful and elegant, but as dead as a butterfly in a case.