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2 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Woody Allen

Written By:
Woody Allen

Diane Keaton, Mary Beth Hurt, E.G. Marshall, Geraldine Page, Richard Jordan, Sam Waterston, Maureen Stapleton, Kristin Griffith, Kristin Griffith

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Interiors (1978)
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Movie Review by Jesse
May 5th, 2008

Allen's Homage to the Great Ingmar Bergman

Interiors (1978)
director: Woody Allen
starring: Geraldine Page, Diane Keaton, Mary Beth Hurt, Kristin Griffith, Maureen Stapleton, E.G. Marshall, Sam Waterston, Richard Jordan

Most people consider this film a bridge between Woody Allen's two most popular masterpieces, Annie Hall and Manhattan (which also happen to be to of my all time favourite films). When I hear the word 'bridge' in relation to film, I think of a movie that is just used as a petty time-filler between major projects. In this case, Interiors is anything but a 'bridge'. If it should be compared to a bridge, it would be The Golden Gate Bridge of all films. It's a masterpiece unto itself and is the perfect display of acting and a middle-class American family in distress.

The performances in this film are fantastic and the ensemble cast is perfect in their respective parts. Woody Allen leaves himself out of this film, which probably was a smart move seeing how this was his first drama and his audiences wouldn't have responded well seeing him in a drama. They might not have responded well seeing him direct a drama either, but he pulled that off flawlessly. The subject matter in this film is heavy and very depressing; it can be compared to something like Ordinary People or The Ice Storm. Ultimately, this film is not totally uninspired and shouldn't be compared to any old film because Allen was directly inspired by Ingmar Bergman's masterworks. He adapted elements and visual styles used in Bergman's films and put them to use in Interiors. This film is an homage to the Swedish director and visionary who sadly passed away last year. Woody Allen has credited Bergman as one of his biggest influences as a filmmaker and often uses his techniques in his own films.

Geraldine Page gives what I think is her greatest performance in this film. Her body-of-work Oscar which she won for 1985's The Trip to Bountiful is undeserved (hand it to Whoopi Goldberg for The Color Purple) and only went to Ms. Page because the Academy forgot to award her for her performance as Eve, the depressed, suicidal and insanely judgmental mother. Other great performances come from the incomparable Maureen Stapleton, who is great as always, and the then-fresh new face, Mary Beth Hurt. The cast works well together using the raw emotion of the characters and the melodramatic elements in the screenplay to deliver solid performances that will be memorable for years and years to come (at least for me).

Not Woody Allen's best, but this still is a masterful effort. Coming out in 1978, Interiors had to follow what was the huge success of Annie Hall and faced being compared. This was a difficult task for Allen and a very risky project. Stripping his regular comedic self to show a very dark dramatic side seemed to be a difficult task, but Allen proved everyone wrong and gave the world one of the best films of 1978. This film was nominated for five Oscars, won numerous other awards and was acclaimed by many critics. I would call it a success on Allen's behalf (even though the domestic box office totaled a not-so-impressive $10 million).

I highly recommend this film to everyone, especially those who are fans of Woody Allen. Interiors ranks among Annie Hall and Manhattan as Allen's best work.

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