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I liked this book up to the last couple of chapters when it totally bogged down in the legal battles between Woody Allen and Mia Farrow. I'm not sure who gets painted worse with the ugly brush in this book. Woody certainly comes off as a guy with serious neuroses and problems, but Farrow gets her share of criticism for her near-pathologic need to adopt children. The best parts are the ones that provide insight into Allen's moviemaking. If you like his stuff, buy the book and turn it off when the courtroom junk starts.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
An interesting look at the life of Woody Allen, a man who always manages to get what he wants, mostly through dint of hard work and talent. If that fails, Meade suggests, he's not above manipulation and blaming others. This isn't a sympathetic biography, but it isn't destructive, either: Meade acknowledges Mr. Allen's talent as a filmmaker while continually reminding readers (toward the end of the book) about his indifference to anything that gets in the way of getting him what he wants, including Soon-Yi Previn. Meade reports that whole episode in detail, although other features of his life and creative process generally get equal attention (except for his work with Diane Keaton, which gets less).
The book ends before Mr. Allen's recent hits such as MATCH POINT, so its conclusion hints that his career as a filmmaker is pretty much over because of his personal life. But Meade forgets that the American public has the historical attention span of a gnat when it comes to news and an infinite capacity for forgiving anyone who provides entertainment. You won't like Woody Allen more after reading this book, and you may be inclined to buy Meade's thesis that he's stuck at about age 18 emotionally, but you will be impressed at his work ethic and his attempts to protect his art from all outsiders, especially his fans.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful