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Sweet and Lowdown (4-Sep-1999)

Director: Woody Allen

Writer: Woody Allen

Keywords: Drama, Comedy, Mockumentary

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Woody Allen
Film Director
1-Dec-1935   Annie Hall
Chris Bauer
Actor
28-Oct-1966   Andy Bellefleur on True Blood
Brad Garrett
Actor
14-Apr-1960   Robert on Everybody Loves Raymond
Nat Hentoff
Critic
10-Jun-1925   The Jazz Life
Anthony LaPaglia
Actor
31-Jan-1959   Murder One
Gretchen Mol
Actor
8-Nov-1972   The Shape of Things
Samantha Morton
Actor
13-May-1977   Sweet and Lowdown
Denis O'Hare
Actor
17-Jan-1962   Larry Harvey on American Horror Story
Daniel Okrent
Author
2-Apr-1948   Former public editor, New York Times
Sean Penn
Actor
17-Aug-1960   Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Molly Price
Actor
15-Dec-1966   Faith Yokas on Third Watch
Uma Thurman
Actor
29-Apr-1970   Kill Bill: Vol. 1
James Urbaniak
Actor
17-Sep-1963   Dr. Venture on The Venture Bros.
John Waters
Film Director
22-Apr-1946   Hairspray

REVIEWS

Review by Walter Frith (posted on 9-Jun-2007)

'Sweet and Lowdown' is one of those films from a cinematic genius where you don't need the credits to tell you who's directing it. You could blindfold someone throughout the opening credits and take the blindfold off and while watching it, know that it's being directed by Woody Allen. There is a bit of a cheat to this theory as Allen himself appears in a visual narration along with others to discuss the film's main character but you would still know it's a Woody Allen film without it and they say a great director can see a finished film in his head and Allen is one of those great directors. Sean Penn, a remarkably under rated actor and former best actor Oscar nominee for 'Dead Man Walking' in 1995, gives a grand performance from a rather cliched (but yet entertaining) script by Allen. Penn plays Emmet Ray, a little known jazz guitarist during the 1930's who was rumoured to be second best in the world and some actually thought he WAS #1. He drinks, he can't handle money, he pimps, he womanizes and has all of those typical flaws that is usually associated with genius in a Hollywood film. I have my doubts about this theory on the part of many film makers. They say Mozart died of a serious illness such as pneumonia, a high fever or the flu, yet 1984's 'Amadeus' chose to show that he died in much the same manner as Elvis Presley, presumably heart failure brought on by being full of drugs and from severe exhaustion. Emmet's idol is Django Reinhardt, considered the best jazz guitarist in the world by most and Emmet actually has dizzy spells, is capable of fainting and/or becoming ill when he's in the presence of this man. This is made very clear early in the film and 'Sweet and Lowdown has a wonderful rhythm to it that captures the period it is displaying just perfectly. As we progress into the first half hour or so, Emmet is making the rounds, playing from club to club, generating controversy and trying to spice up his stage act anyway he can. He creates a quarter shaped moon as a prop in which he will attach a seat and be lowered down on during the beginning of his act. It's a disaster on its first try and is never used again. Emmet meets Hattie (Samantha Morton), a mute girl with a heart of gold. She does laundry for a living, wears baggy clothes and big shoes and is about as


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