Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bullets Over Broadway

Movie Name: Bullets Over Broadway
Year of Release: 1994
Director: Woody Allen
Stars: John Cusack, Dianne Wiest, Jennifer Tilly, Mary Louise Parker, Chazz Palminteri, Jack Warden, Rob Reiner, Joe Viterelli, Tracey Ullman, Jim Broadbent, Harvey Fierstein
Genre: Comey, Drama, Crime
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 9

"Bullets Over Broadway" is one of Woody Allen's biggest hits of the 90s. It won Dianne Wiest her second Oscar, and it was also nominated for best picture, director, original screenplay to name but a few. The film focuses on the story of idealistic young playwright David Shayne. David in order to get his latest play produced, takes money from a gangster, however is forced to cast the gangster's girlfriend as one of the lead actresses (who is also dreadful). On top of this he needs to maintain the grand actress Helen Sinclair happy, and juggle the needs of the rest of his cast and his longtime girlfriend Ellen. Also coming to the fray is the input and interference of a vociferous hitman/bodyguard, one who has a lot of opinions about the play and the cast. It's up to David to navigate these chaotic and murky waters and create a successful play (and stay alive).
Woody Allen is one of the most singular voices in American cinema from the last 40 years. His output is phenomenal (he has had a film out every year since the 70s), and his universe is definitely unique and populated by characters that have become staples of how the general audience perceives New York, and a certain cultural elite from that city. "Bullets Over Broadway", followed two fantastic films, namely "Husbands and Wives" and "Manhattan Murder Mystery", both of which were well received both critically and commercially. "Bullets Over Broadway" is a return to Woody Allen's period pieces, but it has the traditional central character, who is an alter ego of the director, with the well known neuroses, self doubt, and relationship problems that have become staples of the director's work. The supporting cast of characters is also eclectic and extremely entertaining - particularly the characters embodied by Dianne Wiest and Jennifer Tilly, as the stage diva and the talentless hack respectively. The cast is uniformly terrific, particularly the performances from Dianne Wiest, Jennifer Tilly, Chazz Palminteri and John Cusack, while the cinematography of Carlo DiPalma is simply stunning. A beautiful film worth watching!