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Another Woman

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Woody Allen
Produced by Robert Greenhut
Written by Woody Allen
Starring Mia Farrow
Gena Rowlands
Ian Holm
Cinematography Sven Nykvist
Editing by Susan E. Morse
Distributed by Orion Pictures
Release date(s) November 18, 1988
Running time 84 minutes
Country  United States
Language English

Another Woman is a 1988 film written and directed by Woody Allen. It stars Gena Rowlands and Mia Farrow and does not feature Allen in an acting role.

Plot Synopsis

Marion Post (Gena Rowlands) is a 50 year old philosophy professor. She is married to doctor Ken (Ian Holm). Due to construction work in her building, she sublets a flat downtown to have peace and quiet while writing a philosophy book.

In her new flat through a vent, Marion can hear all the private revelations of the clients in a neighboring psychiatrist's office. She becomes particularly fascinated by one client (Mia Farrow) who is deeply depressed and is named Hope (although we never hear her name). The revelations of Hope and her own reflections in life force Marion to examine her own.

She learns from her sister in law that her brother both loves and hates her. She comes to realise that, like her father (John Houseman), she has been unkind and judgmental to various characters throughout her life: her dejected brother Paul (Harris Yulin) and his fragile wife Lynn (Frances Conroy), her best friend from high school Claire (Sandy Dennis), her first husband Sam (Philip Bosco), and her stepdaughter Laura (Martha Plimpton).

She also realises that her current marriage to Ken is unfulfiling and that she missed her one chance at love with his best friend Larry (Gene Hackman). She finally manages to meet Hope and although she wants to know more about her, she ends up talking more about herself, realizing that she made a mistake by having an abortion years ago and that at her age there are many things in life she will not have anymore.

By the end of the film, Marion resolves to change her life for the better.

Background

This film borrows heavily from the films of Allen’s idol, Ingmar Bergman, particularly Wild Strawberries, where the main character is an elderly professor who learns from a close relative that his family hates him. Allen also recreates some of the dream sequences from Wild Strawberries, and puts Marion Post into a similar situation as Isak Borg, where both characters reexamine their life after friends and family accuse them of being cold and unfeeling. This film has many of Allen's signature features, particularly the New York City stamp of the film, only a few scenes are shot outside the city, in the Hamptons. It also uses classical music- Gymnopedie No. 3 by Erik Satie, and poetry- Archaic Torso of Apollo by Rainer Maria Rilke, to serve its narrative, as earlier and later films such as Hannah and Her Sisters, Crimes and Misdemeanors, and Husbands and Wives. It also focuses primarily on upper-middle class intellectual types, as nearly all of Allen’s ’80s films do.

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