102 minutes| U.S.A.| 1990| Colour| 35mm

Alice (Mia Farrow) would seem to have it all: rich husband (William Hurt), children, luxurious home, and a network of maids and masseurs to service her every surface need. Yet a meeting with a saxophonist (Joe Mantegna) triggers forbidden feelings of desire and sessions with a Chinese acupuncturist (Keye Luke, in his last film role) transport her to a dream realm where, in indulging her fantasies, Alice begins to shed her illusions.

This is Allen’s stab at magical realism, where themes of identity crisis, creative frustration, and Catholic guilt endearingly rub shoulders with surrealist comedy, as Alice on occasion becomes invisible and starts talking to the ghost of an ex-boyfriend (‘Considering you’re dead, you look great,’ she tells him). Mia Farrow gives one of her most richly shaded performances, and look out for Bernadette Peters’ terrific cameo as the heroine’s impatient, supernatural Muse: it really sparkles.

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