Mabel Longhetti, desperate and lonely, is married to a Los Angeles municipal construction worker, Nick. Increasingly unstable, especially in the company of others, she craves privacy and happiness—but her volatile behavior convinces equally volatile Nick that she poses a danger to their family and decides to commit her to an institution for six months. Alone with a trio of kids to raise on his own, he awaits her return, which holds more than a few surprises.
“...A powerful story of ordinary, everyday insanity with a pair of incredibly convincing central performances.” —William Thomas, Empire “...Only by the end of the film is it quietly made clear that Nick is about as crazy as his wife is, and that in a desperate way their two madnesses make a nice fit…the tumult of life goes on uninterrupted, that each film is a curtain raised on a play already in progress. The characters seek to give love, receive it, express it, comprehend it.” —Roger Ebert (1998) “Human activity is to Cassavetes what color is to Vincente Minnelli and space is to Hitchcock…A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE is the toughest of all great American films. It takes conflicts and dynamics that we all know—all of us—and writes them uncomfortably large.” —Kent Jones, Criterion Collection