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Monday, June 27, 2016

Crimes and Misdemeanors

Written, directed by and co-starring Woody Allen, Crimes and Misdemeanors is a 1989 comedy-drama which also stars Martin Landau, Mia Farrow, Anjelica Huston, Jerry Orbach, Alan Alda, Sam Waterston and Joanna Gleason.
Crimes and Misdemeanors follows to main characters and story lines. The first involves Dr. Judah Rosenthal (Landau), a prominent married ophthalmologist who is having an affair with a flight attendant named Dolores Paley (Huston). When it becomes apparent that Rosenthal is not planning to leave his family, Dolores threatens to expose their relationship to his wife as well as bringing to light some questionable financial arrangements Rosenthal has been making. Desperate to save his marriage and career, Rosenthal turns to his brother Jack (Orbach), who has ties to the mob and offers to make his problem "go away". Meanwhile Cliff Stern (Woody Allen) is a filmmaker who has been forced to do a documentary on his arrogant brother-in-law, Lester (Alan Alda), a successful television-producer, in order to finance his own documentary on philosopher Prof. Louis Levy (Martin Bergmann). Whilst doing so, Cliff falls for Lester's associate producer, Halley Reed (Farrow) although she rebuffs him. Towards the end of the film Rosenthal and Stern meet at the party of the daughter of Rabbi Ben (Waterston), who is the former's patient and the latter's brother-in-law.
One of Allen's greatest comedy-dramas, Crimes and Misdemeanors strikes a near perfect balance between the two and manages to remain damn funny despite its overall very pessimistic tone. Allen creates another great ensemble piece and manages to, seemingly effortlessly, blend many different characters and story lines. The film unflinchingly examines various moral and ethical quandaries and is one of the director's most philosophical and thought-provoking entries in his filmography. Crimes and Misdemeanors was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Director and Screenplay, a Golden Globes for Best Drama Film, and Six BAFTA Awards, including Best Film, Director and Screenplay. It won Best Film, Director and Screenplay at the Boston Society of Film Critics Awards, Film, Director and Screenplay of the Year at the London Critics Circle Film Awards and Best Screenplay from the Writers Guild of America.