As so often in Cassavetes' work, there's little plot: desperate attempts at a sexual life from a boozy, middle-aged writer staving off loneliness; a divorced woman's struggles to hang on to her husband, daughter and sanity. Halfway through, when the woman takes refuge in the writer's chaotic household, the nature of their relationship (they're brother and sister) gradually unfolds. Very little else happens; but sparks fly throughout as the characters, guided firmly by the director's customary emphasis on spontaneous, naturalistic performance, search for closeness, warmth and self-definition. It's a long and wayward path, but humour, aching sadness, and sensitivity to the inner lives of people deemed eccentric, mingle to produce a rich, impressionistic tapestry. The oblique treatment occasionally leads to infuriating obscurity, but the movie's sense of 'real life', dynamic performances, and admirable lack of moralising make it compulsive. (From a play by Ted Allan.