Thursday, September 08, 2005
Mabel (Gina Rowland) is a young housewife with three brats whose husband Nick (Peter Falk) is away too much fixing water main breaks. Never your typical gal, Mabel's endearing quirkiness begins to devolve into more troubling behavior. She goes truly batshit and develops a disorder whose major symptom is the complusive chewing of scenery. This sends Nick over the edge, particularly after he stands Mabel up because of work and she brings home and fucks some weird Hee-Haw cast-away. The "sane" parent begins smacking his wife around, humiliating her in front of friends and family, and getting his young children drunk on beer. At last Mabel is carted away for her own protection and the safety of her little ones, who remain home with a more vigorous and less mumbly Colombo.
A Woman Under the Influence is long and weird and over-acted, but there's an engaging simplicity about it that kept me going nonetheless. This is my first Cassavetes; I'll see others.
Makes me appreciate Rollin' Nolan and King Gimp all the more. Also re-enforces my profound respect for Mr. Day-Lewis.