One of Allen's finest.
A creation of Woody Allen, The Purple Rose of Cairo is the story of a hapless married woman who works as a waitress and goes to the movies to escape the real world. One evening she goes to watch The Purple Rose of Cairo, which is the movie within this movie, and loves it. The next day, unable to make herself run away from her abusive husband, she goes back to the theatre and watches back-to-back shows of the movie.
And then, one of the characters in the movie, having seen her in the audience again and again, comes out of the screen and… the rest of the story is too good to give away.
The Purple Rose of Cairo is written and directed by Woody Allen, and you can see why he is a cinematic genius. The story isn’t run-of-the-mill; it’s something you haven’t seen before. Mia Farrow enacts the hapless wife to the tee, and Jeff Daniels, as the movie character and the movie star, is lovable in both roles. Woody Allen tackles the two parts – real life and reel life – in a beautiful fashion. The scenes inside the movie, as seen on the theatre screen, are comic brilliance. And in classic Woody Allen style, there is logic given to even such a story that has no probability of actually taking place. But when you watch The Purple Rose of Cairo, you are never skeptical about such an event actually happening.
The movie was released in 1985 and is set in New Jersey during the Great Depression. It has won the BAFTA Award for Best Film and the Cesar Award for Best Foreign Film. The screenplay was nominated for major awards including the Oscars and BAFTA. The Purple Rose of Cairo has even been in Time magazine’s list of 100 best films of all time.
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