Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Save up to 70%
Empire
Film Studies 101
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
Mia Farrow
Jeff Daniels
Danny Aiello
Dianne Wiest
Van Johnson.
Directors
Woody Allen.
Screenwriters
Woody Allen.
Running Time
84 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
A Fuller Life
3 Star Empire Rating
Futuro Beach
4 Star Empire Rating
Tokyo Tribe
2 Star Empire Rating
Honeytrap
2 Star Empire Rating
Pheonix
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating
Long Good Friday, The
5 Star Empire Rating

The Purple Rose Of Cairo


submit to reddit


Plot
Cecilia seeks solace from her dead-end job and boorish husband Monk in the Jewel movie theatre. However, one matinee, Tom Baxter, a character in the RKO programmer The Purple Rose of Cairo, comes through the screen to sweep her away - much to the chagrin of the cast left behind on the screen and the actor who created him, Gil Shepherd.


Review

Five years after depicting film fans as psychotic morons in Stardust Memories, Woody Allen sent them a bittersweet love letter in this fond, if slight memoir of his own lost days in the flickering darkness. Recapturing the simple pleasures that escapism could afford, he also lamented the extent to which films had ceased to matter as they had in the depths of the Depression and the shift from stardom to celebrity that had taken away so much of the romance of movies that were now packaged and sold like any other consumer product.

         Allen staged the action in the Coney Island cinema he had frequented as a kid and the small town of Piermont, which still resembled oldtime New Jersey. However, in an ironic twist on the storyline, heavy snows hindered shooting and business premises were forced lay idle behind their film façades until the production wrapped.

         Allen also had to pause after firing Michael Keaton just 10 days into the schedule, as he was (according to the press release) too contemporary for the dual role of Tom/Gil. Resisting Orion's suggestions that he or Kevin Kline assumed the part, Allen cast Jeff Daniels, although he proved to be much more persuasive as the celluloid figment out of his depth in coarse actuality than he was as the cynical star prepared to do anything to save his career.

Mia Farrow, however, was impeccable as the crushed spirit whose inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality had been diminished by her desperate psychological reliance on inaccessible icons enacting impossibly glamorous scenarios. But while Allen shrewdly eschewed nostalgia by making her environment as rundown as possible, he never quite solved the problem of blending Cecilia's whimsical adventures with the tragedy of her social situation. Thus, while the movie cast are amusingly able to slip out of character and resume being their egotistical selves and Tom/Gil are able to return to their familiar  milieu, Cecilia is left only with Fred and Ginger in Top Hat, whose transient sophistication can never replace the dream that has passed forever.


Verdict
Mia Farrow is note-perfect in this charming little movie.


Reviewed by David Parkinson

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
40 Of The Unlikeliest Movie Character Posters
Would you put these one-sheets on your wall?

Who Is The Vision, Anyway?
An introduction to Avengers: Age Of Ultron's newest addition

Jenny Agutter: Role by Role
From Tin to Captain America to The Railway Children

80 Of The Best Movie Star Adverts
From Sly Stallone selling bread to Hugh Jackman dancing for iced tea

Matthew Weiner Reveals 7 Mad Men Secrets
The showrunner on The Beatles and that lawnmower

Empire's Avengers: Age Of Ultron Review
Our verdict on what could be the biggest film of the year...

The 15 Most Controversial Alternate Endings
How some of your favourite films could have finished...

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Subscribe now and save up to 70%

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe now and save up to 70%
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)