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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Summer Wishes Winter Dreams (1973)

An upper class Manhattan housewife (Joanne Woodward in an Oscar nominated performance) suffers from depression and seems alienated from her family. When her mother (Sylvia Sidney) suddenly dies, she begins to reflect on her past, her relationships and her own mortality. Directed by Gilbert Cates (I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER), this is a rather dreary film with a frigid (in more ways than one) protagonist. As good as she is, Woodward can't drum up much sympathy for her "snow queen" and spending 90 minutes with such an uncharitable woman makes it a bit of a slog to get through. As her opinionated mother, Sylvia Sidney (also Oscar nominated) livens up the movie but alas, they kill her off early in the film. As if to correspond to its heroine's bleak outlook on life, Gerald Hirschfeld shot the film in muted browns and grays. There's a sequence in the movie where Wooodward and Sidney go to a screening of Ingmar Bergman's WILD STRAWBERRIES, a film touching on similar themes which accomplishes everything this film doesn't. Johnny Mandel (THE SANDPIPER) did the subdued score. With Martin Balsam, Dori Brenner, Tresa Hughes and Ron Rickards.

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