Crimes and Misdemeanors

ISBN 13: 9786305075325

Crimes and Misdemeanors

 
9786305075325: Crimes and Misdemeanors

American auteur Woody Allen explores themes of good and evil in this masterful modern-day morality play. When ophthamologist Judah Rosenthal (Oscar-nominated Martin Landau) is threatened with ruin by his mistress if he doesn't marry her, he considers the ultimate solution to his problem: murder. Meanwhile, documentary filmmaker Clifford Stern is faced with an equally heinous moral dilemma: selling out. Allen compares the choices both men make, using a double storyline to brilliantly pair sharp comedy with harrowing drama.

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Review:

Some critics and filmgoers have hailed this 1989 comedy-drama as Woody Allen's best film, and while that's certainly open for debate, a good case can be made that it's the most ambitious and morally complex of Allen's films. It's the kind of movie that provokes heated philosophical debate about the role of God in our lives, the nature of guilt, and the circumstances that would allow a seemingly good, law-abiding family man and successful professional (Martin Landau) to commit a murder with no risk of being caught. Could you live with yourself under those conditions? Allen explores this complicated issue in the context of an extramarital affair that Landau's mistress (Anjelica Huston) threatens to expose, while developing a second story about a documentary filmmaker (Allen) who reluctantly makes a film about his brother-in-law (Alan Alda), a TV sitcom producer whose vanity is seemingly unlimited. From serious crimes to misdemeanors of personal behavior, Allen ties these stories together to create a provocative and unsettling study of divergent moralities and the price we're willing to pay to preserve our personal comfort and happiness. It's a sobering film, but a fascinating and funny one as well, unfolding like a thriller in which the question is not whodunit but rather, would you do it if you knew you could get away with it? --Jeff Shannon

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