An Unmarried Woman

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"She laughs, she cries, she feels angry, she feels lonely, she feels guilty, she makes breakfast, she makes love, she makes do, she is strong, she is weak, she is brave, she is scared, she is… an unmarried woman."
  • R
  • 1978
  • 2 hr 10 min
  • 7.2  (5,983)
  • 79

An Unmarried Woman is a 1978 American film directed by Paul Mazursky and stars Jill Clayburgh as Erica Benton, a woman who, after being left by her husband for a younger woman, must navigate life as a newly single person in New York City. The movie starts by introducing us to Erica and her seemingly perfect life as a wealthy, well-manicured wife living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Her world is shattered when her husband Martin (Michael Murphy) unexpectedly announces that he is leaving her for another woman. Erica is left feeling lost, alone, and unsure of what to do next. She spends the rest of the film trying to discover who she is without her husband, and how to move forward with her life.

As Erica attempts to adjust to her new life, she begins to take part in therapy to work through her pain and emotions. Through her sessions, she begins to build a new life, one that is not defined by her marriage or her husband's expectations. She begins to explore the world around her, meeting new people, and immersing herself in new experiences.

One of the primary themes of the movie is Erica's search for a new relationship, which leads her to a charming artist named Saul (Alan Bates). He is older, worldly, and seemingly everything Erica needs in her life right now. He is different from Martin in almost every way, and this contrast highlights the different paths that Erica could take in her new life. The relationship between Erica and Saul develops slowly, and at times it seems as though things might not work out. But through this relationship, Erica is able to learn more about herself and what she wants out of life.

Along the way, we see Erica trying to balance her new life with her old one. She still has feelings for Martin and struggles with the guilt and resentment that come with those emotions. We see her interact with her teenage daughter, who is struggling with her own emotions and the changes happening in her family. And we see her navigate the dating scene, with all its highs and lows.

One of the most remarkable things about An Unmarried Woman is Jill Clayburgh's performance. She is able to convey a wide range of emotions throughout the film, from anger and sadness to happiness and hope. Her character is authentic and relatable, and viewers are drawn into her journey from beginning to end.

The cinematography is also notable in this film. Mazursky uses a lot of long shots and wide angles to capture the beauty and diversity of New York City. Whether Erica is wandering through Central Park, exploring SoHo, or walking along the Upper West Side, the city becomes almost another character in the film, a symbol of the endless possibilities that Erica has in her new life.

The film's soundtrack is also noteworthy. Much of the music is from the period, and the mix of jazz, disco, and rock perfectly captures the mood and energy of the late 1970s.

In conclusion, An Unmarried Woman is a powerful, emotional film that explores the complexities of relationships, identity, and the search for meaning in life. Jill Clayburgh's portrayal of Erica is exceptional, and viewers will be captivated by her journey from beginning to end. The film is a must-see for anyone who has ever experienced the pain of a broken heart and the uncertainty of forging a new path in life.

An Unmarried Woman
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 10 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (5,983)
  • Metascore