Sunday, September 14, 2014

SEPTEMBER (1987)

Following a failed suicide attempt Mia Farrow is holed away at her family's country home in Vermont.  As the film begins she has been there for a few months and summer is drawing to a close.  She longs to return to NYC and restart her life...her life with an aspiring writer (Sam Waterson) who has been renting the guest house.  Early in the summer they had drawn close and even made love, but now Sam is more interested in Mia's married visited friend Dianne Wiest.  Added to this triangle is a neighbor, Denholm Elliott, who is in love with Mia.  And added on to that is Mia's mother and stepfather (Elaine Stritch and Jack Warden) dropping by for a visit.  Mia has a very strained relationship with her mother.

SEPTEMBER is not a happy film.  Anybody looking to see a funny Woody Allen movie will be disappointed in that respect, but they will be treated to a wonderfully written story filled with very flawed and very human characters.  And with only six principal characters and one-hundred percent of the events happening within the confines of the house SEPTEMBER is structured like a play.  It's not often that you see a film made this way and I thought it was wonderful.  The most impressive thing about SEPTEMBER though is Mia Farrow's performance.  Absolutely heartbreaking.

Overall, it's not as impressive as INTERIORS, but I think INTERIORS was going more for the Bergman vibe while SEPTEMBER was going for the Chekhov vibe.  Either way it's triumph of filmmaking.  Highly recommended.