Sight and Sound - 12/01/1978
"...A modesty and a refusal of the fashionable..."
Variety - 08/02/1978
"...INTERIORS is no mere homage to [Bergman], but a direct adaptation of his techniques and even his themes and concerns....[A] very deliberate and controlled film..."
After the tremendous success of ANNIE HALL, Woody Allen took a huge risk and turned serious with INTERIORS, his Bergmanesque masterpiece--a dark, intense look at a family suffocating itself in thoughts of failure and death. Geraldine Page is extraordinary as Eve, a troubled woman who cannot face reality. When Eve's husband, Arthur (E.G. Marshall), announces that he's moving out of the house, their three daughters (Diane Keaton, Mary Beth Hurt, and Kristin Griffith) gather around the mother, attempting to help her through this crisis, but they have been raised with such coldness and aloofness that they are helpless.
The first movie that Allen wrote and directed but did not appear in, INTERIORS is about closed spaces, both physical and psychological. Most of the scenes feature the intense cast standing by windows, looking out at the world that is going on outside without them. The opening shot of Renata (Keaton) reaching out to the window, spreading her fingers, is mesmerizing. Gordon Willis's photography washes the film in shades of black, white, and gray--the only color comes from Pearl (Maureen Stapleton), Arthur's new lover, who is vibrant and impulsive, everything Eve's family is not. The film also has no background music whatsoever; in fact, aside from one scene in which Pearl plays a jazz record, the only background sounds that can be heard are the quiet call of the ocean and the sisters' careful breathing. Slow-paced, bleak, and marvelously insightful, INTERIORS is a poignant film that should not be missed.
Woody Allen's first wholly dramatic film centers on a family in turmoil. Three daughters--a poet, an actress, and a drifter--deal with the problems in their own lives and their frustration over the dissolution of their parents' marriage.
Character Study |
Essential Cinema |
Family Interaction |
Theatrical Release: August 2, 1978.
Shot on location in Connecticut and Long Island.
After several successes with film comedies, this is Woody Allen's first "serious" film, and it contains none of the slapstick or New York-tinged humor of his earlier works. It is truly an homage to the filmmaker who perhaps inspired him most, Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. Allen's later works, such as HANNAH AND HER SISTERS (1986) and CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS (1989), combine the serious note of this film with the more lighthearted spirit of his earlier works like SLEEPER (1973) and ANNIE HALL (1977).