That’s what Shakespeare was originally going to call A Midsummer Night’s Dream, right? If not, he should have. This uncharacteristically light and bucolic Woody Allen farce borrows from both the Bard and from Bergman’s Smiles of a Summer Night for its turn-of-the-century country gathering of amorous intellectuals. (Allen streamlined Bergman’s plot by reducing the number of mismatched couples from four to three.)
The movie marks the beginning of Allen’s personal and professional pairing with Mia Farrow, who’s as charming and delightful as anyone else in the picture, though it’s old-timer Jose Ferrer who steals the movie. Largely dismissed as a trifle 30 years ago, today, the movie looks like the beginning of Allen’s second great period of creative ferment, the one that stretched from Zelig (whose shoot overlapped that of Midsummer) to Crimes and Misdemeanors.
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