Broadway Danny Rose. Woody Allen. 1984.
Yeah, OK, for 1983 it was this is The Search For Spock and I threw the dice and I went for this one.
Allen had like an Imperial period where he could do no wrong, and this is towards the end of that period. And when he’s on screen here being embarrasing and embarrassed, it really works. He’s funny. But the other scenes where he’s being a Robert Altmanesque (with a pinch of Cassavetes) director and trying to have the other actors be in that imagined film… It just doesn’t work. Altman has (well, can have) such a wonderful hand at directing people behaving naturalistic, but those scenes here scream ACTING.
You can just look at their faces rehearsing their lines in their minds while the person they’re talking to is mouthing off their own lines.
The exception is Mia Farrow, who is amazing.
The plot (and the framing of the plot) is impressive. It’s like clockwork. You can’t help getting involved.
Is this peak Woody Allen?
This blog post is part of the Century series.