Sunday, January 24, 2010

#178: A Woman Under the Influence

1974, TSPDT Rank #160

A Woman Under the Influence is a heart-wrenching film because (like much of Cassavetes' work) it achieves a sort of brutal realism that cuts right to the bone. The performances of Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk are amazing - but you already knew that. It's so terrifying and sad - it becomes quite hard to watch at times because of its emotional intensity but also compelling in a way. Even when you think it's taken all it can take from you, it comes back for an absolutely crushing final section, which is thankfully fairly brief, but still long enough the viewer nearly crushed by the time the end credits roll. I don't even know what else I can say about it - except that it's just so real, you can truly believe the feelings and situations that this director is presenting and recognize some of them in society and in your own life and relatives. It's a great film, and definitely an important one in our country's cinematic history, but it might come a little too close to reality for some.

(Rating: 9/10)

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