TV Review – CRISIS IN SIX SCENES (2016)

Crisis in Six Scenes (TVS) (2016; USA; Colour, 6 episodes; 140m) ∗∗∗  d. Woody Allen; w. Woody Allen; pr. Helen Robin; exec pr. Erika Aronson; ph. Eigil Bryld.  Cast: Woody Allen, Elaine May, Miley Cyrus, John Magaro, Rachel Brosnahan, Michael Rappaport.  A comedy that takes place in the 1960’s during turbulent times in the United States and a middle class suburban family is visited by a guest who turns their household completely upside down. It is basically a movie into six episodes, which admittedly each progress the plot. Whilst not amongst Allen’s strongest work, it does raise some laughs and has moments that suggest he still has much to offer – notably the scenes with May’s marriage counsellor and her clients. It’s great to see Allen in front of the camera again too and he still has his comic timing. He and May spark well, if a little tentatively at times given their age. Cyrus is okay as militant revolutionary who takes over their household, but Magaro struggles to convey the academic won over by the activist. It’s all light, frothy fun – if a little forced – with the odd telling thing to say about passive and aggressive objectors. However, it only rarely captures the spirit of the times and often seems divorced from the world it describes – which may have been deliberate on Allen’s part to suggest how distanced the characters were from world’s events – merely catching up via TV. Edited down it would make a fairly decent movie.

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