Woody Allen doesn’t just make comedies. Interiors is a serious, sombre look at the disintegration of an upper middle class family in New York. It is slow, austere and really goddamn sad. There is never any excess showing of emotion. In fact, all the characters hide everything, behind facades, under their behaviour and beneath their words. Color is so significant in the film. 99% of it is beige and grey or black and bits of white. (So me right now!) There’s only one character that is a counterpoint to everything else in the film, a sore thumb that markedly provides the contrast element as well as some semblance of humanity and sanity. Then there’s the lighting, always in the shadows. Anytime light is allowed, it feels like it’s showing you something you don’t want to see. Otherwise the characters live amongst the cobwebs, afraid of facing real life like vampires brooding at the rising sun. It’s so gloomy and difficult and wordy I had so much trouble at the start. But once it all started falling into place, I was sucked in until the end, a quiet whisper like death coming in the night. I didn’t even know it had ended.

Geraldine Page plays Eve, the character for whom the title is referring. She’s an interior designer who’s gone off the edge after her husband announces a trial separation. She’s got severe OCD, wanting to direct everything in her life, orchestrating, like a puppet master handling her children. She’s also suicidal, thinking that life is no longer worth living because it seems like it’s outta control. It’s devastating her 3 daughters and her poor husband who just want to get on but cannot find the release. The tenuous relationships between these characters seem to be creaking severely and it’s clear that everything’s gonna fall apart. All around each person, things don’t seem to be going right. Every interaction and plot element seems to point at the failure of this family. Why I don’t really know but it just is. It’s pretty bleak but pretty, if you like the cold, barrenness of life as I do. God, I hope I don’t become Eve.

It’s tough to get through the dialogue. I reckon much of it sounds somewhat pretentious but it’s necessary in depicting the characters and their self-absorbed “problems”, most of which are their own doing. Their dysfunction seems to rip everything apart and they almost seem to revel in being tortured and depressed. It’s almost nauseating to watch. Their on screen emotional turmoil is so disturbingly quiet and calm on the surface, but inside, it’s all asunder. Yet, I kept wondering why, why, why. Why put me through this near pointless exercise in a study of human emotions or lack thereof? A vacancy flailing at something but I’m not sure what.

I think the steez is uber though. Check out Eve in an awesome “ice gray” suit thing and then later in repose, prepped for death. If you look closely, there’s black tape sealing the gaps in the windows, all part of her plan to die by gas inhalation. Everything about her suggests she’s some sort of mournful soul that’s waiting for the grim reaper to take her. The excessive neatness of her hair, kept long in a bun and with a side parting made me think of the early Shakers, who happen to relate directly to her occupation. The last pic is the final scene, a closeup with each sister entering from the sides, all facing the right, wondering what to make of themselves now that they’re finally free.