Woody Allen films tend to be grounded in reality, but occasionally dally and linger with elements of fantasy. His formula normal revolves around a combination comedy, romance and drama. Occasionally, he lets loose. Most memorably in Sleeper and Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask). Unlike most of his films, Alice indulges in fantasy and fairy tale, whilst omitting any final payback.
Alice (Mia Farrow) is an upper-class suburban housewife in a loveless marriage to the affluent Doug (William Hurt). After a chance encounter with a handsome jazz musician (Joe Mantegna) she feels guilty about her feelings towards him. This anxiety causes her backache. She consults with Dr Yang, a herbalist, who prescribes a series of concoctions which will change Alice’s life forever.
There’s something rather wonderful about Alice. It’s an incredibly playful film for Allen, whilst still containing elements of serious drama. It’s a modern-day fairy tale. Alice is dragged out of her comfortable, yet unfulfilling life. Over the period of only a few days, she completely reassesses what is important to her. Her relationships, family, friendships. Alice is a magical Woody Allen film. Full of home-truths, humour and pathos.
Alice is released on Blu-ray today by Arrow Academy.