Customer Review

Reviewed in Australia on 4 May 2020
Like another reviewer I was up most of the night reading this on a kindle. I'm a bit of a sixtiesophile so I have liked Woody Allen for a long time. I have seen almost everything he has done and he says something about near everyone of his many movies. Woody says no one went to see A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, but it was the first movie of his I paid to see at a cinema. Notably not mentioned is his short television comedy, The Harvey Wallinger Story (which is on youtube) and his 90s filmed version of his 60s play, Don't Drink The Water, though a version was made by someone at the time which he does mention disparagingly. It seemed to me that the Mia Farrow incidents were a major portion of the book, and maybe that was an intention in writing it. He sets out quite well, and I think fairly convincingly, the case for his innocence (and official finding). He goes to great lengths to cover multiple aspects of the situation, some almost seem like hearsay, but others are quite air tight. You can just look up Moses Farrow's web site blog, which I learned about from this book, without reading this book. I had also listened to Mia Farrow's audio book, which she read herself but had someone else read the more controversial parts. Woody gets to put his side of the polaroids incident here.
Woody comes across as quite laconic. He is willing to say almost anything about anybody, actors he didn't get along with for example, leading to the reshooting of September. He goes into What's New Pussycat?, as having Warren Beatty in the background, but who abandons it. I was surprised to learn he shot his scenes for Casino Royale before making What's Up Tiger Lily? He didn't seem to explain satisfactorily to me, his enigmatic dislike of his movie, Manhattan. He comes across as someone who just wants to make movies and doesn't care about anything else, such as making as much money as possible, as long as he creates what he wants. He made a lot of money for being in Scenes in a Mall, he repeats this point a number of times. He strangely admits to not remembering much about Sleepers, which he reveals was planned as a longer film in two parts with an intermission. He perhaps should check out Idiocracy. In his upcoming years, friends and relatives to help seem to just appear From the start of the book I was waiting for his comedy career to begin, which I found more interesting.
The first Mia Farrow section helps to get out of the way his comments about the movies he made with her and then afterwards. The #metoo movement brought a second wave of disparagement towards his movies. I really think Blue Jasmine was a rare movie where Allen finally achieved what he was trying in a drama, I don't agree the same happened with Wonder Wheel. And A Rainy Day In New York is the only movie of his I haven't seen. I highly recommend this book.
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