Interiors

1978

Drama

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 79%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 79%
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 18448

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 24, 2021 at 12:44 AM

Director

Cast

Diane Keaton as Renata
E.G. Marshall as Arthur
Richard Jordan as Frederick
720p.BLU
843.4 MB
1280*694
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 31 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by secondtake 10 / 10

A large ensemble cast, written, filmed, and directed with quiet force....

Interiors (1978)

This is one of those dark, serious, realistic personal dramas that critics shook their heads at in 1978. It wasn't because it wasn't good--it's frankly a brilliant combination of the big three: acting, writing, photography. It was because it was directed (and written) by Woody Allen. And Woody Allen is funny, right? Critics at the time, however, to their credit, gave the film a fair reading, and for three brilliant excerpt of period reviews, I recommend the Wikipedia entry on the movie.

So watch this film thinking it's by someone else, if you have to. take it in on its own subtle terms as three sisters watch their own deficiencies bloom when their parents abruptly separate. There is some familiar territory here, actors Allen has turned to many times (including Diane Keaton, of course, who he was once, in 1970, involved with). The world is one that might actually be parallel to his own, not Jewish New York but rather a highly educated literary set with money and ambitions, but deeply steeped in the arts.

In short, "Interiors" was and is appreciated but always with a feeling that it isn't quite complete, that it isn't what it could have been. It's easy to see that it is unremittingly dour, almost to perversion. And you might say that it plays the Bergman card too hard without overt appropriation (which makes it merely derivative, that worst of echoes). It is fair, I suppose, to say that Allen really has succeeded, but not in the remarkable ways he had succeeded so clearly in his earlier films, including his previous nugget, "Annie Hall," which is in my view his first true drama, but which has the benefit of also being funny.

Or you can just sit back and take it in for what it does do so well, letting the interior lives of these people seem as shattered and pathetic as they really seem. The photography by Gordon Willis is admirable for being beautiful and inventive without being distracting. Allen and Willis make clear this intention with opening shots, a series of fixed camera views of rooms, and then views out windows, all framed with classic proportions, but sequenced to pull you in. But look how often the camera follows two people as they walk and talk, either up close in front of them, or along the beach through an irregular snow fence. Its pace and "tastefulness" of the photography almost seems designed by one of the main characters, the troubled interior decorator mother played with uncanny effectiveness by Geraldine Page.

Expect nothing in particular here except a tour-de-force that works on its own depressing terms.

Reviewed by canadude 10 / 10

Why do Woody Allen films have to be funny?

It appears that many critics find the idea of a Woody Allen drama unpalatable. "Interiors" gets slammed as a forced, awkward, heavy-handed and cheapened imitation of Bergman (most noticeably "Cries and Whispers") and usually discussed in context of "Annie Hall" that preceded it and "Manhattan" that followed.

Well, "Annie Hall" was funny as hell and I love "Manhattan" - it's directed with an authority that I don't think was matched in another Woody Allen film ("Crimes and Misdemeanors" had touches of such visual elegance). With the exception, of course, of "Interiors" which preceded it.

"Interiors" is Woody Allen putting aside his neuroses and directing with unshakable confidence. Granted, Bergman has already cleared the path for him to some degree, but "Interiors" stands on its own. Visually and aurally it's a quiet film, permeated with silences, dark off-white colors, beige and grays mostly, despair and sadness. It's the existential hell and it's a lot quieter than the descriptive terms make it seem.

Narratively, "Interiors" has the fluidity and grace of any other of Allen's more successful films. Like the multi-character "Hannah and Her Sisters" or the parallelism of "Crimes and Misdemeanors" the stories, relationships and situations rise and build naturally.

"Interiors" is, essentially, the story of an upper-class family shattered, if not exposed and tested, by the divorce of the parents and the ensuing collapse of the mother. The title, of course, refers not only to the profession of the mother who is arguably the central character and definitely the emotional and psychological catalyst for the events of "Interiors," but also works on a metaphorical level. Interiors that Allen implies are those that shatter when the mother, phenomenally played by Geraldine Page, is forced to face the separation from her husband. The neat world constructed by her starts to crumble revealing not only the painful truth to her, but also to her daughters who are greatly affected by this as well. The truth, of course, is that nothing was perfect in the first place - the interiors were simply created to shelter from the reality of family crisis, bottled-up emotion, undue expectations, selfishness, synthetic love and conflict.

The conflicts that arise, or rather expose themselves, bring to light themes that are quite frankly very Allenesque. Allen explores the burdens of existence, namely the inevitability of death (and the question of the immortality of art), loneliness, the failure of relationships (and thus violation of trust), and the search for meaning in life. "Interiors," however, differs from his other films in that it takes a distinctly psychological approach to these problems. It does so by not exposing its themes through "situations" (like Woody Allen finding out that he might be dying in "Hannah and her Sisters" and attempting suicide), but rather through realistic psychological observation of familial relations - particularly mother-daughter ones.

Like many Bergman films, "Interiors" is psychological to the core, even though I don't recall a single shrink in the film. It's also dramatic and quieter than all other Allen films. Finally, it would be a shame not to mention that, while obviously very Bergmanesque, the film is seeped in the atmosphere of many Chekhov plays, bordering on the psychological darkness of Ibsen. "Interiors" is the American film version of early-20th century European theatrical drama - the problems of the well-off, upper-class families not being able to survive social, emotional and psychological instability that they themselves contributed to creating. We are talking of people with intellectual and monetary resources - resources that we treat as essential to happiness. "Interiors" like many of the darker of Allen's comedies, is a quietly terrifying question-mark - it is directed at our lives and our values. And the answers are nothing, but perturbing. Little to laugh about really.

Reviewed by BitterJim 7 / 10

Anyone else get this from the movie like me?

I'm a big fan of Woody Allen, and I just watched this movie for the first time. I can totally understand why many people hate it, or do not like it. It is depressing, and there's no real "finish" or arc for the characters.

That being said, the one thing that stood out for me that nobody has mentioned, is that even Woody Allen didn't like the characters. I think that was his point. As some have pointed out, the characters are pretentious, self absorbed upper middle class yuppies with no real problems. I think what Woody Allen was doing, as was the case in Manhattan, was giving us a glimpse into that sort of liberal elitist upper crest society, where these characters in particular are pseudo-intellectuals and wannabe artists, who create their own problems that really don't mean anything.

This would explain the introduction of Pearl, the fathers new fiancé. Pearl is great. Amidst all the self absorbed, elitist syrup the characters espouse relentlessly, Pearl emerges as almost a down to earth, working class gal.

The family goes out to a play with their father and Pearl, and later while eating dinner, they are discussing this play. The daughters and their yuppy husbands are over analyzing the play to literally a puke inducing pretentiousness...and Pearl just chimes in "One character was a squealer, the other wasn't. I liked the character who wasn't a squealer. Thats all there is to it!" They try to argue with her with more pretentious drivel, and Pearl simply states again "The message I got was "dont Squeal." Later, Pearl is dancing to dixieland music with everybody, and knocks over a vase on accident, and the one daughter calls her an animal. Towards the end of the movie, Pearl ends up saving the daughters life with CPR after she nearly drowns. She seems almost ungrateful. Its as if this fmaily is so elitist, they look down on Pearl as some sort of "inferior".

Pearl is a down to earth, normal, lovable older woman with some spunk, which is why the father fell in love with her. Throughout the movie, we see how dominating and obnoxious their mother is. She is pretty much the reason the family is dysfunctional, with her delusional, relentless whining, and quiet yet aggressive behavior. On top of that, she was a successful interior designer, and her 3 daughters are all "artsy" intellectuals...and you can see why a character like the father is just overwhelmed with them all, and falls in love with a very grounded, relatively simple woman, Pearl.

I think it was Woodys purpose to make you feel burdened or overwhelmed by the characters, the mother...hell, almost feel completely alienated, only to suddenly find yourself relating to Pearl when she arrives.

Another scene that kind of highlights the pretentiousness of the characters, one of the girls husbands is speaking into a tape recorder about marxism and communism, hinting that he is a supporter of such ideology. Which, again, is woody making a small point. Because here you have this wealthy, yuppy guy, embracing the concept of marxism.

For anyone who grew up or lived around New York in the 60's and 70's, that was always one of those ironies...wealthy yuppy types preaching about marxism and communism. Its sort of a hypocrisy Woody Allen often points out in many of his movies.

To summarize, this was a serious movie that essentially criticizes the upper class liberal crowd, as Woody has done in many of his movies. In Manhattan, Woody narrates in the film at the end about how its full of people with no real problems, so they create them. That is essentially the characters in this film. They want for nothing...so they began creating these "existential dilemmas".

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