17 July 2010

Woody Allen: Day Nineteen

I vividly remember being thirteen and renting Mighty Aphrodite on VHS. I had just started renting movies on my own and after having seen Bullets Over Broadway the year before I knew that I loved Woody Allen. The Greek choir in the film is especially genius and gives the film an added dimension. When I was in high school we did a version of Woody Allen's play God (first published in 1975), another comedy with a Greek choir. In one of her very film film roles Mira Sorvino won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Mighty Aphrodite, beating the likes of Joan Allen in Nixon and Kate Winslet in Sense and Sensibility. It is no secret as to how much I love those two actresses and how much I think Joan Allen was robbed of an Oscar in 2000! Mighty Aphrodite may not be amongst Woody Allen's best comedies but it is a clever film with a superb performance by Mira Sorvino.

Lenny (Allen) is unhappily married to Amanda (Helena Bonham Carter). Amanda wants a baby but does not want to get pregnant because of her career. Lenny agrees to an adoption because he thinks it will save his marriage. Their adopted son, Max, begins to show signs of giftedness and this prompts Lenny to try to find out more about his son's biological mother. He eventually finds out that her name is Linda Ash (Sorvino), a prostitute and porn star. Lenny begins a friendship with Linda without telling her his true intentions. Throughout the film a Greek chorus narrates and comments on the events on screen. F. Murray Abraham, Olympia Dukakis, Jack Warden and David Ogden Stiers appear as members of the chorus.

I may hold Mighty Aphrodite in higher esteem than most because of how young I was when I first saw it, but it is a clever comedy that proves Mira Sorvino made one good film.

Next up: Everyone Says I Love You, a Woody Allen musical comedy.

My list:
1. Hannah and Her Sisters
2. Manhattan
3. Bullets Over Broadway
4. Annie Hall
5. Crimes and Misdemeanors
6. Radio Days
7. Husbands & Wives
8. Another Woman
9. The Purple Rose of Cairo
10. Broadway Danne Rose
11. Love and Death
12. Mighty Aphrodite
13. Interiors
14. Sleeper
15. Manhattan Murder Mystery
16. Zelig
17. Stardust Memories
18. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)
19. Take the Money and Run
20. Oedipus Wrecks from New York Stories
21. Bananas
22. What's Up, Tiger Lily?
23. Alice
24. Shadows and Fog
25. Don't Drink the Water
26. September
27. A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy.

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