Legacy Review

September (1987)

September is a minor Woody Allen drama, though there is plenty to like. This is Allen’s most unadorned film: the camera is mostly still, with lots of long takes of conversation. The only musical score comes from characters playing piano or putting jazz records on the turntable.

The story is a love pentagon with dark undercurrents of attempted suicide and domestic violence. It boils very slowly (occasionally profoundly, like the drunk Ouija board scene; but usually just inconsequentially). And then, all at once, the tension explodes for a couple of scenes, the only truly great stretch of the movie. The trouble is that Allen didn’t know quite how to end the story after the great climax, so the last ten minutes undercut that dramatic momentum.

The cast is mostly good, especially the women, and especially especially Elaine Stritch.

Is It Good?

Good (5/8)

Note: This review was originally published elsewhere. Please excuse brevity or inconsistencies in style. If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment or contact me.

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