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Crimes And Misdemeanors Film Analysis

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In Crimes and Misdemeanors, directed by Woody Allen, we follow two stories. The first one shows a crucial moment in the life of Judah ' Rosenthal (Martin Landau), a well-succeeded ophthalmologist who ends unpunished after ordering the murder of his mistress Dolores Paley (Anjelica Huston) to salve his reputation. The crime avoids the destruction of his marriage and family and prevents the revelation of his financial indiscretions related to the raised money to the new ophthalmologic wing of the hospital. The second one presents Clifford Stern (Woody Allen), a filmmaker who cannot succeed producing documentaries about complex social issues. He tries to broadcast his documentary about the philosopher Louis Levy (Martin Bergmann) while works for his brother-in-law Lester (Alan Alda), a prestigious TV producer. When Cliff is filming the Lester’s profile for public TV, he knows Halley (Mia Farrow), who works at PBS, and falls in love by her, but Halley becomes engaged to Lester in the end of the story.
Dolores’s murder causes in Judah a deep inner moral-religious reflection, and this is one of the strongest elements of the movie. Questions like “Is there one God All-Seeing? Is there a universal moral?” are placed under discussion. Although Judah had fanciful conversations with rabbi
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Roche, in “Justice and the Withdrawal of God in Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors”, defends that Allen’s concept of God is subtle: He has departure because of our actions. “God has withdrawn from us. We are living in a less than sacred world, but the possibility of moral and religious regeneration remains (p. 277)”. But Judah did not choose either option; he chose the nihilistic way and seems to live well with it. Also according to him, Judah cannot be considered an isolated case, on the contrary, “he symbolizes a moreover arching sense of decay. He has internalized much of modernity, its consumerist greed, its external standards of success, and its moral bankruptcy (p.
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