Monday, April 11, 2005

David Thomson

“…. But Dianne Wiest is as good as Chekhov, flashing us views of her disordered life with every wincing remark. She is the supporting actress of the year--you know her character feels so overwhelmed by the quantity of other people's need that she cannot assert herself. If only all our movies could be about a circle of supporting players, and it was life they were holding up.”

David Thomson
California, January 1987
"Stray Thoughts and Wild Things"

David Denby

“The younger sisters, on the other hand, are a mess, and resent Hannah’s serenity a great deal—much more than they can acknowledge. The middle one, Holly (Dianne Wiest), launches herself bravely into one career after another: A failed actress, she decides one day that God intended her to be a caterer, and so she becomes a caterer out of sheer will, which is the way she does everything. Holly is a bit of a hustler and not above lying or sponging, but she’s so sensitive to the judgment of others (which is really her own self-judgment) that she detects slights and insults even if they haven’t been offered. Dianne Wiest, who was lovely and touching as the frightened battered wife in the little-seen Independence [sic], gives a sly, tough, dead-accurate performance that should cause a sensation—everyone in professional New York has known some version or other of her Holly, with her chic, broad-shouldered jackets, her perpetual sniff of coke, and the edgy self-consciousness from which she cannot escape. Holly is as much a classic type as Judy Holliday’s Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday….”

“What Woody Allen loves most, of course, is women. In the final scenes, the miseries of all three sisters are laid to rest, the rivalries fade away, and as the family gathers for Thanksgiving once again, Woody gives us final views of the three women, moments that have an erotic and emotional splendor unseen in his work so far. Annie Hall was an early culmination, a gathering of themes and styles, and this movie is a second one….”

David Denby
New York, Februay 10, 1986


Dianne Wiest
Hannah and Her Sisters 1986

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