BEST DIRECTOR New York Film Critics Circle (1990)
NOMINATION Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Screen Adaptation; Academy Awards (1990)
Based on the brilliant, enigmatic novel by Isaac Bashevis Singer, this is a quietly haunting film about an aloof Jewish intellectual (Ron Silver) who managed to hide from the Nazis during WWII and now, in 1949, leads a double life in Coney Island, NY. He's married to his wartime (non-Jewish) protector (Margaret Sophie Stein) and fooling around with a sexy married Jewish woman (Lena Olin). Things get even more complicated when his first wife (Angelica Houston), thought dead in the Holocaust, returns.
Enemies, a Love Story is such an intriguing film because it refuses to be tamed, to settle down into a nice, comforting parable with a lesson to teach us. It is about the tumult of the heart, and Mazursky tells its story without compromise. There is no key to tell us how to feel. No easy laughs as Herman races from one woman to another, but no cheap pathos, either, at their fates. Indeed, this is not even a movie about how the women are victimized; each one receives more or less what her fate has dictated for her, and Herman, who suffers so grievously, is punished mostly by his own knowledge of what a rat he is.
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
ALSO DIRECTED BY PAUL MAZURSKY
Enemies: A Love Story
USA, 1989, 119 minutes, color
Directed by Paul Mazursky
Public Exhibition 16mm Rental available