Minnie and Moskowitz Screen 6 articles

Minnie and Moskowitz

1971

Minnie and Moskowitz Poster
  • Moskowitz loves Bogart, and while his sputtering, ineloquent mania is miles away from the star’s crumpled cool, he gets to embody a take on a typical Bogart character – the misunderstood, dog-faced outsider who expects little from the world and gets little in return, who despite his many deficiencies gets to be the hero in the end.

  • While Seymour is personable in a way most prior Cassavetes male characters are not, displaying a genuine sweetness as he joyously acts on his whims, Minnie is reserved and calm. Like many a Cassavetes romance, Minnie and Seymour’s relationship is a belligerent one-on-one courtship, though a tender, affectionate rapport emerges.

  • The second of Cassavetes’s six films starring his wife Gena Rowlands is a highwire romantic comedy played without a net... This is an electric work, clear-eyed and unblinking, joyous as only a few films manage to be.

  • Brutality is everywhere—as many punches are thrown as in a boxing match, and far less fairly—and there’s a special place in Hell for Minnie’s married ex-lover, yet, in this shambling tale of punch-drunk love, the rage is a part of romantic passion. The sculptural physicality of the images, a 3-D explosion without glasses, embodies that violence while preserving the antagonists’ innocent grace; love smooths things out to a dreamy and reflective shine.

  • Should Minnie even succumb to this guy? Is this healthy? I believe Cassavetes would say yes. After all it’s a version of him (and that marriage lasted until his death). But as a movie, we’re not so sure how this will end up, making it extra poignant and multidimensional. We’re happy they will feel happy, but… will it last?

  • The realisation of this imperfect, authentic worldview is what gives Minnie and Moskowitz its chancy, refreshing unpredictability. Cassavetes’ 1971 screwball tour-de-force is an overwhelming experience, with overwhelming noises, movements and emotion; and yet, somehow, developing from the chaos is a surprisingly approachable portrait.

More Links