Bullets Over Broadway [1994]

One of Woody Allen's best films of the '90s, Bullets over Broadway stars John Cusack as a virtual Woody surrogate, a neurotic, Jazz Age writer whose new play sounds wooden and unrealistic to a low-level mobster (Chazz Palminteri) assigned to watch over his boss's actress-girlfriend (Jennifer Tilly). When the hood starts contributing better story ideas and dialogue than what the official playwright can conjure, questions (not unlike those of Amadeus) about the price we pay to make art at the expense of other responsibilities are intriguingly raised. Palminteri gives a very interesting performance as the enforcer waking up to the desperate (and almost feminine) demands of his own creative psyche, and Dianne Wiest (who won an Oscar), Tracey Ullman, Jim Broadbent, and Jennifer Tilly are very funny together playing the ensemble cast of Cusack's play. --Tom Keogh

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