Saturday, January 5, 2019


Movie Name: Alice
Year of Release: 1990
Director: Woody Allen
Starring: Mia Farrow, Alec Baldwin, William Hurt, Joe Mantegna, Judy Davis, Cybill Shepherd, Julie Kavner, Robin Bartlett, Blythe Danner, Gwen Verdon, Caroline Aaron, Bob Balaban, Keye Luke, Holland Taylor, June Squibb
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7 
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review:
Following the well received, critically and commercially, "Crimes and Misdemeanors", director Woody Allen went in a lighter note, and returned with his yearly opus, "Alice", which premiered in December of 1990. The film follows the story of Alice, a very rich and lovely woman, living in Manhattan, with her husband and children. Alice has a personal trainer, an interior decorator, and a busy social life, but starts complaining about her back, and the lack of having a career. She goes to a Chinese doctor, who prescribes some potent, and magical herbs and teas, that start surfacing all sorts of buried things that Alice has kept inside. For starters she remembers and engages fondly with her past fiancée who passed away, Ed. She also gets the nerve to flirt and consider an affair with a divorced Jazz player, by the name of Joe. And she finally realizes her ambitions of writing are more driven by guilt, than actual talent, while also discovering her husband has been cheating on her for quite some time. The treatments allow for Alice to truly get in touch with who she is, and in the process re-awaken the woman she always wanted to be.
"Alice" is a film that brings back the Woody Allen focused on lighter topics, but this time around, he chooses to do so, by focusing his comedic perspective on the of re-awakening someone's purpose in life. Alice is a woman who is haunted by family decisions and by some episodes of her past, and yet, someone whose present has been lavishly rewarded, with a luxurious life in Manhattan. As her life progresses, these past anchors that have always haunted her, start surfacing and manifesting themselves physically, something that the magical herbs solve, and provide a catalyst for some good humor, but also for some realizations. It's a film that is smartly built, mixing themes of nostalgia, emotional longing and resolution, but also growth, acceptance and the happiness of finding inner peace. It also features a knockout performance from Mia Farrow in the central role, one who goes from timid to seductress, in a few short minutes, and back to confused shortly after. The cinematography from Carlo Di Palma is stunning as are the costumes from Jeffrey Kurland. A very good film always worth revisiting.