HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Days of the Bagnold Summer
Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975, The
Apartment 1BR
1776
Parasite
Looking On the Bright Side
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Simon
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Alice Wonder No More
Year: 1990
Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Mia Farrow, Joe Mantegna, William Hurt, Judy Davis, Alec Baldwin, Keye Luke, Cybill Shepherd, Blythe Danner, James Toback, Diane Salinger, Bernadette Peters, Julie Kavner, Gwen Verdon, Patrick O’Neal, June Squibb, Bob Balaban, Elle MacPherson, Rachel Mine
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Alice (Mia Farrow) is a Manhattan housewife, who enjoys the services of everything a well-to-do lifestyle can bring her: a rich husband (William Hurt), two children in the best school available, all the pampering she could ever want, a maid to wait on her... so why is she so unhappy? She thinks it is down to her back pain which is causing her distracting trouble, and her friends keep suggesting Alice visit an expert to cure her, though as this man is Doctor Yang (Keye Luke), a practitioner of arcane remedies in Chinatown, she is sceptical that he would be right for her. But she is still in pain, and making things worse is that while she loves her husband, he's too busy working to attend to her, and there's a musician single father at the school, Joe (Joe Mantegna), who looks very attractive...

Writer and director Woody Allen had enjoyed a very good nineteen-eighties, ending it with the much acclaimed Crimes and Misdemeanours, so the hopes were high for his first film of the nineties. What nobody was anticipating was Alice, a lightweight retread of Federico Fellini's Juliet of the Spirits set in his accustomed New York City location and starring his then-romantic partner Farrow, who had become a fixture of his work since they had fallen in love, but not everyone was certain if they were not wearing out their welcome by this, another collaboration that came across as Allen doing her a favour by casting her in the lead when other filmmakers had more or less lost interest in her as a leading lady.

Of course, nobody could have expected how that relationship would end, and end it did shortly after in bitter acrimony and wild accusations that have still never been entirely settled, which lends an odd cast to this in that you will be aware Allen was looking kindly on Farrow for the duration of this, yet presumably a couple of years later would have been happy never to hear her name ever again, and vice versa. Watching her meander her way through a very mild borrowing of other artists' themes was not exactly exciting, even if it was imbued with the regular Allen obsession with self-improvement through therapy, as the entire narrative was the equivalent of a lengthy session in the psychiatrist's chair for the heroine.

Only she did not get up to anything as clichéd as lying on a couch and doing a spot of regression cure, she did go to see Doctor Yang (Luke's final role and a nice one to go out on after such a long career) and he began placing her on mystical treatments that were herb-based rather than acupuncture as Alice was expecting. Said herbs had an effect that was reminiscent of the fantasy movie trappings of the nineteen-thirties, placing her in a series of quirky scenes where she would, for instance, be able to converse with the ghost of a former boyfriend (Alex Baldwin) to see where she went wrong with that connection, or suddenly be boosted in confidence and instead of making meek small talk with Joe she went on the attack, aggressively flirting with him to ensure he was aware she was interested.

Of course, the next time they meet she is back to her "Miss Mouse" persona as her friends call her behind her back, but this seems to have done the trick and opened up the possibilities of an affair, the main issue with Alice not being a bad back, as she thought, but heartache, as Doctor Yang informs her. Unfortunately, because she cannot wholly reform until the close of the film there was an awful lot of dithering on her part, and that grew wearing when there was no strong personality to carry the plot, merely a half formed one that was growing in power and certainty, yet extremely slowly to give Allen the chance to explore her psyche in the manner a shrink might do with a patient. The most memorable sequence, aside from a funny/nightmarish bit where love potion herbs get into the wrong hands, was where Alice and Joe become invisible and wander the streets, she eavesdropping on her pals and he, rather creepily, entering a changing room where supermodel Elle MacPherson is trying on clothes which changes your perception of him, not for the good either. As a self-improvement lesson it was fair, but as a movie, small beer.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1676 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Woody Allen  (1935 - )

American writer/director/actor and one of the most distinctive talents in American film-making over the last three decades. Allen's successful early career as a stand-up comedian led him to start his directing life with a series of madcap, scattershot comedies that included Bananas, Sleeper and Love and Death. 1975's Oscar-winning Annie Hall was his first attempt to weave drama and comedy together, while 1979's Manhattan is considered by many critics to be Allen's masterpiece.

Throughout the 80s Allen tried his hand at serious drama (Another Woman), warm comedy (Broadway Danny Rose, Radio Days) and more experimental films (Zelig, Stardust Memories). Some were great, some less so, but pictures like Hannah and her Sisters and Crimes and Misdemeanours are among the decade's best.

The 90s saw Allen keep up his one-film-a-year work-rate, the most notable being the fraught Husbands and Wives, gangster period piece Bullets Over Broadway, the savagely funny Deconstructing Harry and the under-rated Sweet and Lowdown. After a run of slight, average comedies, Allen returned to more ambitious territory with the split-story Melinda and Melinda, the dark London-set drama Match Point, romantic drama Vicky Cristina Barcelona, one of many of his films which won acting Oscars, and the unexpected late-on hits Midnight in Paris and Blue Jasmine. In any case, he remains an intelligent, always entertaining film-maker with an amazing back catalogue.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: