“She has no direction; I expected such great things from her.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
He writes that “what’s most impressive about Allen’s film is that he creates a logic for why his characters respond to each other as they do”; even if we don’t particularly enjoy watching these sisters (and Keaton’s dissatisfied husband) wallow in their sorrows — and find the “snobby pretentiousness” of their “criticism of books, plays, [and] articles” unbearable — they’re indisputably all-too-human.
Indeed, with a mother like Page — who during the film “suffers a breakdown and attempts suicide”, yet was clearly mentally unhinged long before the action begins — it’s no surprise at all to see what a mess Keaton et al. are (nor to question the desire of Marshall to get out of the marriage as gently yet quickly as he can).
Page’s tragic performance is note-perfect, as is Marshall’s — though arguably the most memorable “older” performance is given by Stapleton, “whose bright clothes are a jolt to the picture”, and who “brings life to the drained group”. Peary notes that a final scene involving Stapleton and Hurt (which I won’t spoil here like Peary does) is the “most special” moment for him, in a film filled with “many emotionally devastating moments”. To that end, how well you ultimately respond to Interiors depends largely on: a) your willingness to suspend preconceived judgments about what a Woody Allen film “should” be, and b) your willingness to invest in the outcome of these (mostly) not-very-likable characters. For my part, I was resistant at first (as Peary notes, it’s still far “too serious” a film), but quickly found myself caught up in the power of Allen’s uncompromising vision. Good for him for daring to make a movie just the way he envisioned it, and to foil his fans’ expectations.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: