Bullets Over Broadway (1994) Directed by Woody Allen.
Another evening, another Woody Allen film in our home. Everything was great in this film; the acting, the look, the story. Yet, as I sit here trying to figure out what was important in this experience, I struggle to come up with anything except a tiredness. Bullets Over Broadway is like Woody on autopilot. Or maybe I just have seen too many of his films and (some of them) too many times.
Dianne Wiest is my favorite sister in Hannah and Her Sisters. Although I have no trouble finding similarities with all the sisters and myself, Dianne Wiest's character is closest to my heart. I even have a winter coat that reminds me of her desperate colorfulness. I love her in Bullets... because of her role in the other film – here she plays the aging movie star failing as she is losing her star power, in Hannah and Her Sisters she fales as an actress but finds herself as a writer and as a lover. Ok, maybe I just really love Dianne Wiest like I love Diane Keaton. Woody knows his D's. It doesn't matter what Wiest is in, I'm still in love. (BTW: I cannot believe we have not reviewed Hannah... in this blog.)
Back to the film of the night. Woody makes some funny points about life in this rather average effort. He for example reminds us to not believe our first impressions. A mafia hitman may in fact be a better story teller than a man who calls himself a script writer. But oh, do I yearn to see something amazing soon. I hope 2013 will reveal some great new movie talents. I want to feel in love, in pain and everything in between while sitting comfortably in my viewing chair. I need a break from the good old trust-worthy W.
A solid Allen effort. It's an easy slide back into watching a film again. We've been watching TV series of late. We have tried films – we started War Horse (but watched half an hour). I watched half a documentary on Chess recluse Bobby Fisher. I started reading David Thomson's The Big Screen, which has sporadically drawn me in. Sight & Sound keeps me in the loop and the new Tarantino being a Western is of interest. But, the real issue is I'm not so excited by watching films right now. I'm more interested in the idea, or the right type of film.
The right type of film for me at this moment is more than likely some action/thriller/super hero film. I watched a couple of dreadful Harrison Ford films over Christmas. You know, these Jack Ryan trash pieces. And then I watched the really bad Air Force One. It's amazing to think that Ford was once interested in the Art House. Yet, The Rock and Con Air are waiting and I know it's a superior work when I finally indulge. For now Bullets Over Broadway it is. The thrills are rather restrained. The laughs are limited to the smirking variety rather than belly aches.
But Bullets Over Broadway remains one of Woody's very good late films. It has it's faults. John Cusack increasingly annoys me. Here he defines Woody lite. Allen indulges Dianne Weist way too much (did anyone see where the ham went?) It's the cruder voices that shine: Chazz Palminteri has never been this good (he plays a great playwright moonlighting as mob hitman) whilst Jennifer Tilly brings the laughs as the Mafia boss' squeeze. Special mention goes to Jim Broadbent as the actor struggling with weight issues- a witty turn. Bullets Over Broadway is light and breezy. It's rarely given accolade in Allen's ouvre, it deserves better.