A portrait of domestic turmoil detailing the emotional breakdown of a suburban housewife and her family’s struggle to save her from herself. A married couple so deeply in love but unable to express their ardor in terms the other can understand.
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Feel this film, for cryin' out loud. Let it kick you in the gut. To attempt to intellectualize, deconstruct or define a film such as this (or its characters, for that matter) is like using trigonometry to understand improvisational jazz. If you didn't get this film, you haven't watched it enough times. Put simply, "A Woman Under the Influence" is why I make films.
I think if you didn't grow up in a household that contained the ever-lingering threat of violence, this movie isn't going to have the same impact. Parts of this movie were, to me, like what I imagine war flashbacks to be like for veterans. I just started crying and shaking and wanting to throw up. I've never loved something so fiercely for having such a hideous effect on me.
Cassavetes created one of the most indelible portraits of mental illness and its effect on the family in this '74 film. Rowlands performance here was extraordinary as was Falk. A mother barely hanging on to reality and a brute of a husband unable to understand the depths of her sickness unwittingly adding to the problem. Growing up in a household like this, this is a difficult watch but an authentic portrayal.
One of the greatest analysis on our requirements for sustaining normality, and also one of the most touching love stories I´ve witnessed. In contrast to many emotionally devastating films, this one has an rare abilitiy to encourage living.