Directed by: Woody Allen
Countries & Regions: United States
Length: 88 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 9 September 2002
Cat No: 16761DVD
Languages(s): English, German, French, Spanish, Italian
Hard of Hearing Subtitles: English
Subtitles: French, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese
Screen ratio 1:1.85
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The first non-comedy from writer-director Woody Allen. Three sisters (Diane Keaton, Mary Beth Hurt and Kristin Griffith) try to come to... Read More
Interiors met with a fair degree of critical derision when it was first released. After a hugely successful string of knockabout comedies, Woody Allen completely changed track and made his first completely serious film (Annie Hall has some sombre moments, but it is clearly a comedy). Although the film was nominated for many awards (mainly for the acting), some commentators felt Interiors was little more than a misguided tribute to Ingmar Bergman, mimicking the Swedish director’s style without capturing the essence of his work. Certainly, the film has many similarities to some of Bergman’s work (the film focuses on a family, features female protagonists and employs many of Bergman’s favourite cinematic techniques, such as characters talking directly to the camera). However, the focus on the Bergmanesque touches distracts from the brilliance of Allen’s direction and script, and the exceptional acting.
In the film, three sisters (Diane Keaton, Mary Beth Hurt and Kristin Griffith) attempt to cope with the emotions that follow their father’s (E. G. Marshall) decision to divorce their artistic, aloof mother (Geraldine Page) in order to marry a lively, self-confessed “vulgarian” (Maureen Stapleton). It soon becomes clear that their depressive mother cannot cope with the end of her marriage.
Interiors contains some excellent performances, and the scene in which Marshall tells Page he wants a divorce is one of the best acted in the history of American cinema. Stapleton’s vivacious “other woman” injects a warmth missing from the other characters, explaining the father’s rejection of his sophisticated wife. Of the sisters, Hurt is particularly fine as a frustrated young woman who cannot find an artistic outlet in order to express her feelings (she tries writing, photography and various other media, but she is unsuccessful).
This film was the first of a string of “serious” Allen films (Stardust Memories, September, Another Woman), but Interiors is still the best, with a moving ending and a very good ear for dialogue. As Allen’s films become increasingly crass and uninteresting, it is stimulating to revisit his earlier work when he was one of the greatest (and most prolific) auteurs in the world.