This film is very meta... Gena Rowlands is an actress playing another actress: the unstable Myrtle Gordon, whose mental health is jeopardised by a new play and lead character she refuses to accept and the accidental death of a young fan that comes back to haunt her. While it could have benefited from a shorter running time, this is yet another outstanding collaboration between Rowlands and Cassavetes.
An extraordinary and insightful character study of human mortality, set within the brutal world of show business. Gena Rowlands fearlessly runs the gamut of human emotions whilst superbly portraying a fading star dealing with denial, acceptance, regret, guilt and a full blown meltdown.
Brilliant film from Cassavettes! Those who associate him with "realism" should inquire within, because this shows him at his most stylized, full of meta-games but with a beating heart never far from view as a woman who has nothing in her life but art starts to, for lack of a better word, act out. The finale is a happily cathartic (and personal) ode to acting—with the hope that maybe it could sort out your life, too.