-Undeterred [by the overall failure of “September”], the following year he appeared to be reprising Ingmar Berman’s 1957 masterpiece, “Wild Strawberries,” which would lead some reviewers to christen his seventeenth movie “Wild Raspberries. [7]

 

-“Another Woman,” like “September,” looks like an inessential Woody Allen film. It is yet another unpopular, moderately reviewed movie about the same types of people with the same types of problems. Unlike “September,” however, which only moderately exceeded its low expectations, “Another Woman” not only feels essential, but fresh, original and skillful. [2]

 

-‘Another Woman” is really the first time that Woody Allen has made an in-depth character study of a single person (other than himself). [2]

 

- Almost uniformly, unless the character is played by Allen, the focus is on characters’ feelings right now, and their decisions going forward. Despite what this film’s title and cover art might suggest, this is a movie about one woman: Marion Post (played by Gena Rowlands). But it’s not just about what she’s doing now — Allen uses dramatic tools he’s rarely touched (flashbacks, dreams), and paints a portrait of a woman’s entire life. [2]

 

-As the movie begins, it establishes a tone completely different than that of any other Woody Allen movie so far. The opening scenes are filled with a cinematic element relatively new to Allen: suspense. Marion (Rowlands), in her apartment, finds that she’s able to clearly hear the conversations in the next apartment over (it’s actually a therapists’ office). Like Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window, Marion becomes engrossed in her neighbors’ lives. We’ve seen Chaplinesque, Bergmanesque, Felliniesque, and even Wellesian (if that’s a word), but this is our first Hitchcockian moment in a Woody Allen movie. [2]

 

- Like “September,” “Another Woman” is not a plot-heavy film. Unlike “September” though, there are meaningful, personal revelations. Marion does gain genuine insight into herself, and tries to make changes in her life…But “Another Woman” shows us a person changing without sacrificing realism. Everything that Marion uncovers about herself, we uncover together with her. At the end of the movie, we see things about her we didn’t see before, and understand her desire to approach life differently. [2]

"Another Woman" Screening Companion

-Released in United States October 14, 1988 [3]

-Runtime: 81 mins

-Production Company: Jack Rollins & Charles H. Joffe Productions

-Distributor: Orion Pictures Corporation

-Rated PG

- Budget $10 million (estimated)

-Gross: $1,562,749 [1] $3,109,700 [6]

- Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1

[1] – imdb.com

[2] – www.EveryWoodyAllenMovie.com

[3] - Turner Movie Classics

[4] - Woody Allen: A Biography, by John Baxter

[5] - Woody: Movies From Manhattan, by Julian Fox

[6] – Wikipedia

[7] – The Unruly Life of Woody Allen by Marion Meade

-[Mia] had so little interest in the film that she never bothered to see it. [7]

 

- In Woody: Movies From Manhattan, author Julian Fox describes how producer Robert Greenhut and production manager Joe Hartwick, "were often driven mad by Woody's perfectionism on Another Woman, exemplified by a scene, already shot, which Woody decided to rewrite and shoot again on the very last day of filming." The scene was ultimately cut from the final film. [3] [5]

 

- Allen also changed his mind several times about the film's opening. At one point he wanted a tracking shot to follow Marion walking down the street carrying groceries for her new apartment. After crews spent two hours setting up track for the camera shot, Allen changed his mind. Instead of the outdoor shot, the film opens with Marion in her apartment. [3]

 

-The first of the four collaborations between Woody Allen and Ingmar Bergman's preferred cinematographer, Sven Nykvist. [1]

 

-Working with Sven Nykvist “achieved a longtime ambition” of his. [7]

 

-Hope's name is only referred to twice during the film; the first time it is spoken by Marion, and the second time is when we see it during the closing credits. [1]

 

-Unlike most actors in Woody Allen's movies, Gena Rowlands was allowed to read the entire script before taking the part. [1]

 

-According to Ian Holm's memoirs the role of Ken was originally offered to George C. Scott who turned it down after refusing to read the script. Ben Gazzara was also considered before Holm was offered the part. [1]

 

-Fred Melamed, best known as Sy Ableman in the Coen brothers’ A Serious Man, makes his second of seven appearances in Woody Allen movies (he also played a doctor in Hannah and her Sisters). He’s the most frequently cast male actor in all of Allen’s films. [2]

 

-All of the scenes with Mary Steenburgen (who played Marion's sister-in-law) were cut from the final film. [1] but she was replaced by Frances Conroy. [2]

Trivia

 

- There are different reports on the origins of the story idea for Another Woman. According to Allen, several years earlier he had an idea for a comedy about a man who overhears a woman talking to her analyst. When he discovers she is beautiful, he uses the information he learned in her sessions to make her fall in love with him. But Allen was uncomfortable with the eavesdropping aspect of the story and put it away. [3]

 

- Mia Farrow recalls a different origin to the film. In her autobiography, Farrow explains how she lived in an apartment next to a well-known analyst and always saw famous patients coming and going. Farrow says she once asked Allen, "Wouldn't it be so cool to get one of those spy listening devices? We could hear what they're saying through the wall." Allen responded disapprovingly asking if she would want to define herself as someone who would do that. Farrow states, "My unworthy thought was somewhat redeemed when the script of “Another Woman” was built around just such a situation." [3]

 

-“Another Woman” was John Houseman's last performance. Woody Allen had previously captured the final performance of Lloyd Nolan in “Hannah and Her Sisters” in 1986, and would do so again with Keye Luke in “Alice” two years later. [1]

 

-Originally Mia Farrow was supposed to have played the part of Marion but her real-life pregnancy prevented that. Gena Rowlands took the part instead. [1]

 

-“I didn’t write it with her in mind, but she was my first choice for the part.” –Woody Allen [8]

 

-Woody would describe this chilly character, along with Eve in “Interiors” and Cecilia in “The Purple Rose of Cairo,” as being close to his own emotional makeup, [7]

 

-Before Gena was offered the part, Woody gave the role to Dianne Wiest (who, in the last few movies, has been starting to rival Farrow in terms of screen time) was cast in her place, but then she decided to take time off from acting to be with her newly adopted daughter [2] or “because of an illness. [3]

 

- Then Jane Alexander took the part, but when she didn't work out, Mia Farrow took the role and her pregnancy was written into the film. Farrow was seven months pregnant when filming began. She gave birth to Woody Allen's son Satchel (named after the baseball player Satchel Paige) in December 1987. Farrow took a month off and then returned to the set and finished shooting her scenes with a padded stomach. [3]

Critical Reception

 

- "Embarking on another drama immediately after September was a calculated risk. September hadn't been released when Allen started shooting (Another Woman) in October 1987, and Orion still had every reason to believe that the earlier film would do well. Were that to happen, Another Woman could be the film that sealed Allens new standing as a dramatic film-maker." Unfortunately, however, neither drama did well with critics or audiences. [4]

 

-One of the most noticeable, appreciated changes in “Another Woman” is its subtlety. So many of Woody Allen’s characters announce themselves as a certain type, and we can guess where things are going. Another Woman has a lot of his favorite archetypes, but they all gravitate a little more toward center, leaving room for interpretation and uncertainty. [2]

 

-“Another Woman” is, I think, the most unfairly overlooked film so far. Despite one of his most formidable casts, Another Woman shines as a result, primarily, of Allen’s directorial skills. Another Woman perfects the Bergmanesque style he’s been toying with ever since Interiors, and finally adds ‘character study’ to the long list of genres he’s mastered. [2]

 

-Gena Rowlands is known for her ability to command attention on screen, but as the centerpiece of the character study Another Woman, she drains the emotion — all the emotion — and plays a woman who’s slowly realizing that her coldness has alienated her from all of her friends and family. As she turns 50, she looks back on her life and the opportunities she missed and the signs she never saw. Rowlands’ performance is quite daring; it had the potential to be simply boring, but she effectively conveys a deep sense of sadness and longing that her self-seriousness has never allowed her to express overtly. [2]

 

-Stanley Kauffmann said hiring cinematographer Sven Nykvist “a pathetic, desperately imitative move.” Using the work of innovative artists such as Bergman as stepping-stones to one’s own experience was fine, but it was quite another thing to become an expatriate from the real work. Woody “has stopped looking at his world,” wrote Kauffmann, and instead looks mostly at Bergman films. [7]

 

-Daid Ansen in Newsweek dubbed “Another Woman” “Wild Matzos.” [7]

 

-Pauline Kael admitted not having liked “Wild Strawberries” the first time. “A homage,” she sniffed, “is a plagiarism that your lawyer tells you is not actionable.” [7]

 

- Another Woman had a very limited release in the United States and earned less than two million dollars at the box office. Younger audiences thought the characters were too old to have the romantic problems they did, while older viewers had trouble believing all New Yorkers discuss Heidegger at cocktail parties. According to [Julian] Fox [author of Woody: Movies From Manhattan], "After its disappointing reception (Allen) suggested that he should have made two movies one a money making comedy with himself and Mia or Diane Keaton as the protagonists, and another film, more serious, which would not do so well. But 'I wasn't good enough,' (Allen) said, 'to have it rise to the level I wanted.'" [3] [5]

 

- 65% Rotten Tomatoes rating