One of cinema’s all-time great performances anchors Cassavetes’s classic portrait of a woman on the verge. Gena Rowlands stars as Mabel, a hard-drinking L.A. housewife whose behavior has grown increasingly erratic, much to the concern of her construction foreman husband, Nick (Peter Falk). As Mabel’s decline accelerates, Nick does what he can to try to stabilize her, but a breakdown grows to seem all but inevitable. Rowlands turns in an utter tour-de-force performance, conjuring an indelible and eminently moving portrait of a tumultuous inner life at odds with the banal quotidian of working-class American life.
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