A drab, crowded, ugly film by Woody Allen. Meant to be a confessional in the style of 8 1/2, this 1980 feature is more or less a steady stream of bile: Allen plays a famous film director who hates his movies, hates his audiences, and hates himself. During a seminar at a Jersey shore resort, his life passes before his eyes; the scenes center on his bumbling relationships with what has become the standard Allen complement of three women: the dark (Charlotte Rampling), the fair (Marie-Christine Barrault), and the lesbian (Jessica Harper). Allen is working his camera more, though his visual coups mainly consist of more self-conscious ways of creating the claustrophobia that has always ruled his work. With its blunt, artless angst, the picture leaves you feeling depleted, squashed.
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