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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Alice (1990)

A pampered upper class Manhattan wife (Mia Farrow) seems to have it all. But when she finds herself attracted to a divorced saxophone player (Joe Mantegna), she begins to question not only her marriage but her lifestyle. Written and directed by Woody Allen, this is a whimsical and magical (literally) fantasy of a woman's journey through all the clutter of a life that betrayed her youthful values. Almost a valentine to Farrow from Allen, this is quite possibly her best role in the ten year and 13 films collaboration between her and Allen. Farrow's Alice becomes invisible, flies over Manhattan, converses with her own personal artistic Muse (Bernadette Peters), dances with a dead boyfriend (Alec Baldwin), all by taking special herbs from a Chinese acupuncturist (Keye Luke in his final film role). Allen manages to balance witty one liners with little poignant moments and grains of truth. If not as memorable as Allen's key films, it's still a charmer. Allen's screenplay received an Oscar nomination. The large ensemble cast includes William Hurt as Farrow's husband, Judy Davis, Cybill Shepherd, Blythe Danner, Gwen Verdon, Julie Kavner, Patrick O'Neal, Judith Ivey, Bob Balaban, Elle Macpherson and Diane Salinger.

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