A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE (1974)
There’s something about Mabel. She’s a little over the top, a little intense, a little unbalanced. In this exquisite, Oscar-nominated performance, Gena Rowlands plays a woman who begins to come apart under the strain of daily life as a suburban wife and mother. Her blue-collar husband Nick (Peter Falk) loves her, but he’s at a loss as to how to cope with her moods, and near the end of his own rope. The film is one of the acknowledged masterpieces of writer-director John Cassavetes, who wrote the complex screenplay for his wife. Rowlands has acknowledged that it was one of the hardest roles she ever played, but one of the most rewarding. Cassavetes was nominated for an Oscar as Best Director. — J.R.
Drama, 155 minutes, rated R, 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 (screens after Rowlands tribute), the Lensic , 4 chiles