John Cassavetes' pioneering independent film represents a hallmark of the indie scene, but at its heart is an excellent story told exceedingly badly. Low production values (bad focus, etc.) can be forgiven, but a rambling, 2 1/2 hour, directionless pace can not. Cassavetes cast mom Gena Rowlands as a clearly-going-insane woman, earning her an Oscar nomination. The story of her fall, rise, and fall again is vaguely reminiscent of Long Day's Journey Into Night.
Cassavetes gets credit for the homage this picture still is paid. The monotone piano music is hauntingly similar to that in Eyes Wide Shut. Remember that music and be warned: Even on DVD, this picture has the worst sound I've ever heard on a feature film. Shame on the studio for not cleaning it up for the digital release.
Continue reading: A Woman Under The Influence Review