It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors" is a thriller about the dark nights of the soul. It shockingly answers the question most of us have asked ourselves from time to time: Could I live with the knowledge that I had murdered someone? Could I still get through the day and be close to my family and warm to my friends, knowing that because of my own cruel selfishness, someone who had loved me was lying dead in the grave? This is one of the central questions of human existence, and society is based on the fact that most of us are not willing to see ourselves as murderers. But in the world of this film, conventional piety is overturned and we see into the soul of a human monster.
Actually, he seems like a pretty nice guy.
He's an eye doctor with a thriving practice, he lives in a modern home on three acres in Connecticut, he has a loving wife and nice kids and lots of friends, and then he has a mistress who is going crazy and threatening to start making phone calls and destroy everything. This will not do. He has built up a comfortable and well-regulated life over the years and is respected in the community. He can't let some crazy woman bring a scandal crashing around his head.
"Crimes and Misdemeanors" tells his story with what Allen calls realism, and what others might call bleak irony. He also tells it with a great deal of humor. Who else but Woody Allen could make a movie in which virtue is punished, evildoing is rewarded and there is a lot of laughter - even subversive laughter at the most shocking times? Martin Landau stars in the film as the ophthalmologist who has been faithful to his wife (Claire Bloom) for years - all except for a passionate recent affair with a flight attendant (Anjelica Huston). For a few blessed months he felt free and young again, and they walked on the beach, and he said things that sounded to her like plans for marriage. But he is incapable of leaving his wife, and when she finally realizes that she becomes enraged.