Start to Finish Woody Allen and the Art of Moviemaking (Eric Lax) - Vintage Books - 2017 - 353 pages

Biographer Lax has been interviewing Woody Allen for over 40 years.  In this book, he follows the making of a movie (Irrational Man) in detail to reveal the art of Allen and his talented group of experts.  Within the book, Lax goes off on a few tangents to reveal the life and many talents of Allen who is truly one of the world's great moviemakers.  On pages 120-131, Lax found a reason to tell Allen's side of the much-rumored dispute between him and his former life-partner, Mia Farrow.  I am in total agreement with Mr. Lax that Farrow is the real abuser and liar in that story.  These 12 pages explain the legal investigations and various testimonies on each side.  After Allen decided to date (and later marry) his adult step-daughter (Soon-Yi Previn) who had been adopted by Farrow and Andre Previn (1929-2019), Farrow went into a rage and told Allen: "You took my daughter, and I'm going to take yours (Dylan)."  Allen & Farrow's oldest adopted son (Moses) who is now a family therapist came forward last year to explain that Farrow had manipulated and abused all of her children over the years.  She had coached them to lie about events.  Moses also said: "There was no model train in the attic."  Anyone who believes that Woody Allen is a pedophile should read that portion of this book before passing judgment.

The decision by Allen to write this story about an otherwise honorable person (acted by Joaquin Phoenix) who decides to kill a judge, was partially made as a result of his experience with the judge who gave custody of their three children to Farrow.  However, the Allen/Farrow conflict does not cloud the making of this movie.  Allen is a methodical, dedicated professional who only wants to make the best movies possible within the resources he can find.  When history looks at the output of writer/directors of the 20/21st century, Woody Allen will be at the top of the list. [JAM 5/14/2019]