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Enemies a love story post
Enemies: A Love Story
★★★☆☆
First run Theater cinema
The last fully-functional feature from writer/director Paul Mazursky [Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969), An Unmarried Woman (1978), Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986)] is an adaptation of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Coney-Island-set novel about a Holocaust survivor and the women in his life. Ron Silver, in his most understated and, arguably, best performance in a career spent playing angry, hyper-verbal men, is Herman Broder, a depressive suffering from survivor’s guilt that renders him able to exist only in the present moment. In order to maintain his unstable status quo, Herman lies to everyone in his life. He even makes his living in a false way—he tells his wife he’s a travelling salesman, but, in reality, he is a ghostwriter for an unscrupulous, showboating rabbi (Alan King in a small but potent role). Herman is married to a Polish peasant (Margaret Sophie Stein) who saved his life by hiding him during the war; he has a tempestuous mistress (Lena Olin), a fellow survivor whose passion is Herman's escape from the pain of life; and is about to be reunited with the wife he believed perished in a concentration camp (Anjelica Huston). The drama and the comedy lie in how Herman deals with each of these women and how they relate to him and to each other.

The film has wonderful period detail, and some individual scenes are masterpieces of both writing and acting—Mazursky was nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar; Olin and Huston were both nominated for Best Supporting Actress. But the movie is also repetitive, and its sombre comedy sometimes borders on pretentious. Still, the picture's ability to evoke the emotions of its characters in such a tangible way make it well worthwhile.

Twitter Capsule:
Silver's career-best performance and wonderful turns from Huston and Olin enrich Mazursky's evocative period piece about a Holocaust survivor wearily juggling three women in late-'40s Coney Island.
Directed by Paul Mazursky
Produced by Paul Mazursky

Screenplay by Roger L. Simon and Paul Mazursky
Based on the novel by Isaac Bashevis Singer

With: Ron Silver, Anjelica Huston, Lena Olin, Malgorzata Zajaczkowska, Alan King, Judith Malina, Rita Karin, Phil Leeds, Elya Baskin, and Paul Mazursky

Cinematography: Fred Murphy
Editing: Stuart H. Pappé
Music: Maurice Jarre

Runtime: 119 min
Release Date: 13 December 1989
Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1
Color