Whilst Woody Allen has amassed an almost unparalleled body of work, it’s fair to say that he’s probably better known for his comedies than his dramas. However, I’d argue that his best work has come from more serious subject matter. Husbands and Wives, Blue Jasmine and Match Point are up there his best. It’s also the case that Allen often produces his best films when not also starring in them. In Another Woman, both these factors come together to create one of his most powerful works.
Marion Post (Gena Rowlands), a philosophy professor the wrong side of fifty, takes a leave of absence to write a book. In order to get some peace and quiet, Marion sublets an office; only to discover that she can hear the therapist’s office next door through the grill. As she eavesdrops on the despair of one of his clients (Mia Farrow), Marion begins to question her life and how she’s treated those around her. This includes the realisation that her marriage to Ken (Ian Holm) is unfulfilling and that she’s in love with her husband’s best friend (Gene Hackman).
Another Woman features a superb central performance from Rowlands in what is one of her best career roles. As usual in one of Allen’s films, there’s an excellent group of supporting players. Hackman, in particular, is perfectly cast. It feels as though we’re being given a secret glimpse into the characters’ complicated lives. Another Woman is a compelling drama which asks the important questions in life through the eyes of its protagonist.
Another Woman is released on Blu-ray by Arrow Academy on Monday.