Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Woman Under the Influence

A manic depressive middle class housewife (Gena Rowlands) wants nothing more in life than to satisfy her also slightly off husband (Peter Falk) and be a rock for the rest of her family. As her behavior grows increasingly more erratic, he sees no choice but to institutionalize her for six months and hope for the best upon her return. John Cassavetes' independent groundbreaker is more admirable for its efforts and intentions than for actual execution. Like many of his films, A Woman Under the Influence is self-indulgent and feels strained and stretched to the limit far after a scene or an idea has run its course. However, Rowlands and Falk are nothing short of extraordinary for their brave, unadulterated performances.