Sunday, March 8, 2015

Mighty Aphrodite

Movie Name: Mighty Aphrodite
Year of Release: 1995
Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Mira Sorvino, Helena Bonham Carter, F. Murray Abraham, Claire Bloom, Olympia Dukakis, Michael Rapaport, Jack Warden, Peter Weller, David Ogden Stiers, Donald Symington, Paul Giamatti, Tony Sirico, Tony Darrow
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

Following the successful "Bullets Over Broadway" from 1994, Woody Allen returned in 95 with one of his comedies, where he played the central character, this time around, a sportswriter by the name of Lenny. Lenny and his wife Amanda have adopted a child, and Lenny becomes increasingly curious about who the birth mother is, particularly since the child is so incredibly intelligent. Lenny is horrified to find out that the mother is Linda, a prostitute and porn star, who is also incredibly dumb. Lenny decides upon himself to save Linda, since he's terrified of the Greek tragedy "Oedipus Rex", and that the legendary tragedy will occur with himself and his son.
Woody Allen's steady production schedule allows him to direct and release a film every year, since 1977 (with the exception of 1981). His output during the 80s was truly phenomenal, something that happened as well during the early 90s, but by 95 "Mighty Aphrodite" was the first of his features that would indicate some of the questionable quality output that would follow in the early 2000s. Though filled with some truly memorable moments, a lot of them featuring the hilarious Mira Sorvino's performance (who won an Oscar for this role), "Mighty Aphrodite" started to feel like a tired version of something he had written years ago. The film didn't provide the freshness of his recent previous efforts, such as the wonderful "Alice" and "Manhattan Murder Mystery", but it did have another great cast, featuring good performances from Mira Sorvino, Helena Bonham Carter and Michael Rapaport. The cinematography from Carlo Di Palma was stunning as usual, as was the Production Design by Santo Loquasto (both longtime associates of the director). A somewhat forgettable film from a truly unique director.