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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Interiors (1978)



Reviews and Comments

Woody Allen's Interiors must have been a shock in 1978, when Allen was known exclusively for comedy. Inspired by Bergman's Cries and Whispers, yet an original work in its own right, Interiors is a heavy study of how a dysfunctional family copes -- or fails to cope -- when a man leaves his wife of many years for a younger woman. The wife breaks down, psychologically, though there are few huge scenes of great drama. The hurt is mostly carried under the surface, yet manifests itself brutally all the same in the way she leans on her three adult daughters, whose sibling rivalry dating back to childhood was never quite resolved.

This is a moving film, psychologically complex and perceptive of the frail, selfish sides of human nature. But I should mention it's also a trial to sit through: This is Allen's least accessible film, lacking even a hint of the humor that tempers his other dramas. The Woody Allen name is such a distinctive brand, one with a divisive reception and a cult-like following, but compare this to the films he made before and after -- Annie Hall and Manhattan -- and it's clear that it's not intended for the same audience.