Bottom Line: Not a bad attempt, but Woody Allen should probably stick to comedies.
Directed by: Woody Allen
Starring: Betty Buckley, Blythe Danner, David Ogden Stiers, Gena Rowlands, Gene Hackman, Ian Holm, John Houseman, Martha Plimpton, Mia Farrow, Sandy Dennis
For those who for whatever reason are not aware, I absolutely love Woody Allen. I thoroughly enjoy his way with words, sarcasm, humor, characters, themes, etc. In more simple terms, he’s a comic genius. Ever since the beginning of his career, Woody has done quite well at fulfilling his goal of spitting out a film each year. He’s missed a year three or four times, and once or twice he has released two films in one year, but from an omniscient point of view, isn’t it rather impressive that his directorial career started in 1969, and since then, he has directed a total of forty-four features? Every so often, Woody has an idea for a non-comedy in mind. Having never seen one of these films, I was curious about ANOTHER WOMAN, a drama about an author who becomes involved with an adulterous incident. While the film does impress after a long string of comedies, it fails to stick out among Woody’s entire career.
It’s a bit disappointing how weak Woody Allen’s script is for ANOTHER WOMAN. Most his comedies are somewhat dramatic; the subgenre is certainly subtle, but without such high amounts of drama, these films would not take off so marvelously. In fact, they’d likely be shallow without a dramatic core. As ANOTHER WOMAN is an absolutely unsubtle, complete representation of the genre, it’d be an immediate thought that the script would be another brilliant one. The film doesn’t feel subtle, but perhaps the opposite: much of a core with no contemplated thoughts to deepen it. Only at the end does the script seem even slightly redeemed.
ANOTHER WOMAN is a fairly tense, mysterious drama. Think, perhaps, of 2006’s NOTES ON A SCANDAL. The premises actually very similar (a careful female analyst witnesses a scandal), but the two films themselves do not feel at all the same. The lack of appropriated music, a dense plot, and strong acting–necessary to complement the well-developed characters–prohibit the film from being as atmospherically haunting as it should be. Is ANOTHER WOMAN an acceptable picture? Yes. As much as I hate to say this, NOTES seems to win out, achievement-wise.