A Woman Under The Influence (2018)

NA / English / Drama / 155 min

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A Woman Under the Influence revolves around Mabel (Gena Rowlands), a young Los Angeles housewife who lives a seemingly functional working-class life with her construction-worker-husband, Nick (Peter Falk), and their three children. This seemingly normal family falls apart, with Mabel on the brink of insanity due to the pressures of marriage and parenthood.

Directed by John Cassavetes, one of American independent cinema’s most respected figures, the film takes the audience on an emotional rollercoaster ride. The script was inspired by Cassavetes’ wife, Gena Rowlands, who wanted to appear in a play that highlighted the difficulties faced by contemporary women in their marriages. Rowlands’s performance has been regarded as one of the greatest female screen performances in American cinema. Throughout the film, we see how a woman’s love for her husband warps into a desperation to please him, and how a man’s love for his wife warps into a desire to control her, due to the stresses and societal expectations of how husband and wife should function in a marriage. The film ultimately questions whether this sanctioned union between husband and wife truly allows men and women to freely express their love for one another.

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