By Scott Ross
Paul Mazursky used to make at least one great, quirky comedy every decade, and sometimes two or three in a row: Next Stop Greenwich Village, Harry & Tonto, An Unmarried Woman. So what better movie of his to list than this glorious adaptation of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s exquisite comic-tragic novel about Holocaust survivors in New York?
Everything about this one works, from Pato Guzman’s stunning art direction to Maurice Jarre’s klezmer-accented score. Working with a pluperfect cast (Ron Silver, Anjelica Huston, Malgorzata Zajaczkowska [billed as Margaret Sophie Stein], Alan King and the luminous, haunted Lena Olin) Mazursky and his co-scenarist Roger L. Simon crafted a sublimely contoured metaphysical farce; it’s a slapstick tragedy that delights and haunts in equal measure.
Text copyright 2013 by Scott Ross