September

Synopsis: Woody Allen delivers a haunting, “superbly constructed” (The Hollywood Reporter) film that examines the intricate world of human emotions and the delicate threads that hold them together. Beautifully acted by an all-star cast, including Mia Farrow, Sam Waterson, Dianne West, Denholm Elliott, Elaine Stritch and Jack Warden, September illustrates “some of Allen’s most powerfully ironic dialogue in years” (Screen International).

After a devastating nervous breakdown, emotionally fragile Lane (Farrow) has returned to her childhood home in Vermont to recuperate. Buoyed by a summer romance with neighboring writer Sam (Waterson), Lane is soon determined to leave Vermont and start a new life. But when Sam’s affections mysteriously cool and Lane’s over-bearing mother arrives with a shocking announcement, Lane finds herself suddenly tangled in a destructive web of passion, deception and manipulation. Now her only way out of her emotional tailspin is to confront the fear she’s never escaped… and a terrifying secret that has haunted her life.
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September 7.0

I’m giving it a higher rating than I did the first time I saw it because it’s really not a bad movie. But I still get this sense that I should knock half a point for treading the same waters again. Because, again, Woody Allen mixes couples up, touches on infidelity and leaves everyone to deal with their various neuroses.

And it’s much more of a retread than that: it’s not dissimilar to ‘A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy’ in that there are three men, three women, it takes place in a cottage, and it’s about the romantic entanglements of the people involved. The main difference is that Woody’s not in it, and it’s not a comedy.

Another notable difference is that there is a mother-daughter relationship in there – and it’s tenous one at best, because the daughter has a certain dislike, or contempt, for her mother (this brings forth a pretty dramatic story development towards the end). But does it make the movie fresh? Not really – especially since I’ve read somewhere that the movie parallels Bergman’s ‘Autumn Sonata’. Double rip-off.

There is a great performance by Mia Farrow, however, and the cast is generally very good. So it’s worth seeing – if you don’t get tired of Allen’s spinning of the wheels.

What do you think?

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