A Woman Under the Influence

1974

Action / Drama / Romance

15
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 95%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 92%
IMDb Rating 8.2 10 15109

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
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Cast

Peter Falk as Nick Longhetti
Gena Rowlands as Mabel Longhetti
Matthew Labyorteaux as Angelo Longhetti
Dominique Davalos as Dominique Jensen
720p 1080p
1.02 GB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
2hr 35 min
P/S 3 / 16
2.2 GB
1920*1080
English
R
23.976 fps
2hr 35 min
P/S 2 / 16

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Galina 9 / 10

Courageous and Uncompromising Film

This movie is a breakthrough - courageous and uncompromising view at the family and at the marriage where both spouses love each other deeply but they are both not well, they don't know how communicate when somebody else present, even their own children. They could be happy on the deserted island but not surrounded by friends and families. I was fascinated by both, Peter Falk's and Gena Rowlands' performances. She looked like a little girl, trapped in a woman's body - confused, insecure, listening to what is inside of her. When she said to her children, "I hope that you will never grow up", she meant it because she never felt comfortable as a grown up. I could not take my yes off Rowlands. Her performance is on par with the best study of nervous breakdown I've seen, and this is Liv Ullmann in Bergman's "Face to Face".

Peter Falks was also a revelation - I love him as Lt. Columbo in the TV series but he is a completely different character here; in a way, he is as mentally unbalanced as his wife is. The fact that he loves her but never hesitates to abuse her makes him terrifying - you never know how he will act in the next moment, and he does not know himself. Directing and writing are absolutely first class, and I am very exited to see more films by John Cassavetes, the Godfather of American Independent film-making and a father of American "New Wave" 9.5/10

Reviewed by Chris Bright 8 / 10

Influence of What?

Freewheeling Cassavetes study of a marriage.

I think its a misreading to conclude that either one of the main characters is "crazy". Clearly Mabel has what you could call a borderline manic personality, but there's little evidence that she is unable to look after herself or her kids. The fact that she gets committed says less about her condition than about the position of women in the society Cassavetes is depicting. There is no sign that the visiting kids are in any danger - their father freaks out only because Mabel's behaviour falls outside his view of the conventional housewife. Nick on the other hand is not considered "crazy" despite physically attacking several people and getting his kids drunk, because men are allowed a lot more licence. In the end he is as trapped by the social pressures on him as Mabel is, except his frustration is turned outwards, hers inwards.

When the family are alone there is no problem, Nick's difficulties arise when Mabel is unable to fit the social role assigned to her - notably it is his mother who drives him to have Mabel committed. The "influence" Mabel is under turns out not to be alcohol as we first expect but patriarchy expressed via Nick, and society's limited and limiting expectations of women and of people in general. Put Mabel in a San Francisco commune 6 years earlier and she would look normal.

A word on the acting. Having known people with rather more serious cases of manic depression I can testify that Gena Rowlands' acting is actually rather understated. Falk meanwhile is a revelation to those who know him only from Colombo - his portrayal of the inarticulate, confused, occasionally violent but still very loving Nick is perfect - he just IS this guy.

Incidentally, you can see where Scorsese took many of the ideas for his most personal films from (notably "Mean Streets" which apparently he made after Cassavetes criticised "Boxcar Bertha") although he tidied them up and made them commercial. He even copied Cassevetes' lead here by putting his own mother in "Goodfellas".

Reviewed by desperateliving 9 / 10

9/10

This is just another confirmation that Cassavetes, along with Dreyer and Tarkovsky, is one of the very small number of geniuses in film, whose every film is an extension of their genius -- some more mature than others, but impossible to be "bad"; they are beyond terms like "good" or "bad" -- they are the great art works of the century.

This film isn't about a "crazy" lady; it's not about putting a woman in an institution; and it's not about people talking about your crazy wife, though all of this happens in the film. Those are merely the events that take place over the course of the film; what it's really about is our misunderstanding, our experience as an audience. Just like the characters, we misunderstand Mable's childlike actions. What Cassavetes does is turn *us* into children -- it's as if we're experiencing things for the first time all over again, because it's a totally new experience, the same with watching a movie like "Andrei Rublev." That is an amazing thing to pass onto an audience. That's why I've never been bored watching a Cassavetes film -- something is always happening, things are always changing. The reality of what we're seeing is always undergoing augmentation, so we can never get fully situated.

It's never unrelenting gloom the way many so-called realistic films are (and this film goes far beyond mere "realism"); it's devastating watching it, watching Mable ask people if they want spaghetti one by one. But it's loving when Nick jokes about someone hugging her too long. It's communal during a scene at a dinnertable where Mable takes a pride in feeding "her boys." But each scene goes through a transformation as it happens. When Mable goes home with another man, he makes it clear that he's not to be used, but also that she shouldn't punish herself. It's not a screamy moment with a woman hiding in the bathroom; his avuncular twang is disarming.

There's a complete lack of self-consciousness in the film, and I mean that in terms of the characters (during Mable's key freak out scene, Rowlands does, I think, go too far) -- that's why the kids are s terrific in the film. When a boy says, "It's the best I can do, mom," it's an incredible moment because it's managed to be included without being offensive, mugging for the camera with cuteness. The film has such a strange relationship with kids -- they're like little people. And if that sounds odd, you'll understand when you see the film. The characters are constantly changing their minds; they're so aware of themselves that they're unaware -- Mable doesn't realize she's giving off a sexual aura (despite the fact that Rowlands can at times look like a blond beach babe). As with Julianne Moore in "Safe," we don't know what's wrong with her. She's a frenetic, guideless woman trying to do the guiding.

The way Cassavetes sets up the film, with ominous piano music that comes in when Falk is trying to speak, blinded by frustration; or setting the film inside this house with gigantic rooms, makes everything feel larger and emptier at the same time. It's like the scariness of the echo of something you'd rather not hear. Someone said that they wouldn't want a single frame of "2001" to be cut, lest the experience be changed. I think that applies more aptly to Cassavetes' films, because he never treads over the same thing twice, even when he's doing exactly the same thing he's just done. It's always something new. 9/10

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