A Woman Under the Influence
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Time Out saysOne of Cassavetes' best films, with a suitably ambiguous title for a plot that manages to be political in its social implications without succumbing to any crass statements. Rowlands and Falk play a lower middle class couple with three kids, whose combined temperaments produce a potentially explosive emotional energy. He can let off steam in his work; she tries to do it at home, but ends up by turning her household into a cross between an encounter group and an adventure playground, to the fury of neighbours and mother-in-law. The brilliance of the film lies in its sympathetic and humorous exposure of social structure. Rowlands unfortunately overdoes the manic psychosis at times, and lapses into a melodramatic style which is unconvincing and unsympathetic; but Falk is persuasively insane as the husband; and the result is an astonishing, compulsive film, directed with a crackling energy.