Plot: What’s it about?
Marion (Gena Rowlands) has always been an internal person, holding her emotions inside and that kind of business. She was able to find success in life and is very intelligent, but she is soon to discover how fast a life can be sent into a spiral of change. She rents an apartment in an effort to focus on her next writing project, but finds herself distracted there, due to what seems to be overly thin walls. You see, she can hear all the words spoken by a young woman in the next place over, which happens to be a shrink’s office. As she listens, Marion finds herself looking inside of herself and not being pleased with what she sees, to say the least. She realizes how loveless her marriage has become and how she denies her current love, because it is another man (Gene Hackman). As time passes and more events unfold, Marion starts to see how her approach to life has been a negative one, but is it too late for her to change?
I suppose you could call me a fair weather fan of Woody Allen, as I am not too fond of his more serious films, such as Another Woman. I do think this movie is well made and some terrific moments, but I prefer Allen’s lighter work, to be sure. In truth however, Another Woman is worth a look just to see the cast in action, if for no other reason. Allen put together a stunning collection of talent here, with such names as Gene Hackman, Ian Holm, Gena Rowlands, John Houseman, Blythe Danner, Mia Farrow, and many others on deck. Allen’s writing is smart and well handled, which allows this gifted cast to be in top form, which they are. I’ve watched this flick a few times now and each time around, I marvel at the performances, as they’re that impressive. In the end, I wouldn’t hold this film in the same light as my favorite of Allen’s pictures, but if you’re a fan of his work or want to see a loaded cast, then I recommend this as a rental.
Even when I don’t like his movies all that much, I have to give credit to Woody Allen, as he always seems to deliver on some front or another. I like his zany films and lighter comedies more than his other work, but Another Woman is a well made picture, to be sure. Allen supplies a literate, very intelligent script and then wrangles a spectacular cast to bring it all to life, very impressive stuff indeed. He is able to make the movie very emotional and touching, but he never goes for the sucker punch, which is a welcome change from the normal standards. Other films directed by Allen include Small Time Crooks, Shadows and Fog, Alice, Bananas, Love and Death, Annie Hall, and Sleeper. The cast here includes Gene Hackman (Hoosiers, Crimson Tide), Blythe Danner (The Love Letter, Meet the Parents), David Ogden Stiers (Meet Wally Sparks, Better Off Dead), Gena Rowlands (Two Minute Warning, Hope Floats), Mia Farrow (Alice, September), and Ian Holm (The Sweet Hereafter, The Fifth Element).
Video: How does it look?
Another Woman is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This is a superb looking treatment and though some grain is evident, I’ve never seen this film look so good, very impressive work indeed. The print looks clean and shows minimal grain, though as I said, some can be seen from time to time. The film’s restrained color scheme is as intended, while contrast remains stark and well balanced from start to finish. This transfer will have fans in heaven, as this movie has never been treated so well on home video.
Audio: How does it sound?
As mono is Allen’s audio format of choice, that’s what we’re given on this release. I think it more than handles the task here, with no real problems to speak of. The film is driven by dialogue most of the time, which means it would be front channel based in any event, even with a more expansive surround mix included. The vocals surface in clean and sharp form at all times, not even a hint of volume or clarity trouble to report. The other elements are well presented also, as well as mono allows, that is. This disc also includes mono tracks & subtitles in French and Spanish, just in case you’ll need them.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer.