A reflective drama about a college professor in her fifties. On sabbatical to write a book on German philosophy, Marion (Rowlands) rents an apartment for the necessary solitude. There she starts overhearing sessions in the psychologist's office next door, in particular the disclosures of Hope (Farrow), who has cause to question her marriage, the meaning of life and death, etc. Marion gets to thinking, and is appalled to realise that so many assumptions about her own life and marriage are largely unfounded: in her desire for a controlled existence, she has evaded the emotional truth about relationships with her best friend (Dennis), brother (Yulin) and husband (Holm). The film shows a refinement and development of recurrent Allen themes, particularly in the characterisation of what is arguably his most complex female character to date. But in choosing a stylised approach, Allen too often obscures points in overstatement and intellectual posturing. Where the film gains considerable momentum and richness is in the marvellous performances: Rowlands' perfectly pitched approach to a demanding role is particularly stunning.