So Manhattan is filled with muggers, killers, and lawyers. Big deal. The small Irish village of the upcoming Widow’s Peak has something that could really scare Woody Allen: Mia Farrow as the head of a town run by women.
Sort of an Ireland Murder Mystery, Farrow’s first movie since splitting with longtime lover Allen was, says the actress, ”irresistible to me.” She plays the 1920s community’s benign dictator, who with a cadre of feminist widows keeps the menfolk in their place. This happy way of life gets upended by a pretty young woman (Natasha Richardson), whose arrival in town coincides with a murder.
”The script,” Farrow says, ”was originally written for my mother, Maureen O’Sullivan [now 82 and still acting occasionally], by Hugh Leonard,” the Irish writer of Da. When the seriocomedy finally went into production a generation later, the filmmakers remembered the O’Sullivan connection and brought in Mia.
The 48-year-old Farrow — who dropped her initial post-Allen project, Wolf, when family and courtroom demands reportedly became too much last spring — liked both the script and the idea of ”coming back to work in Ireland, where my people came from.”
In fact, director John Irvin’s County Wicklow set is the first Farrow has worked on outside a Woody Allen movie since 1984’s Supergirl, her only non-Allen film in the past 11 years. (Her 13 Woody works began in 1982 with A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy and ended with 1992’s painfully close-to-home Husbands and Wives.) Originally set to star in Manhattan Murder Mystery before that, you know, legal thing broke open, she was replaced by Diane Keaton, another Allen ex-love.
Now that she’s a solo act again, Farrow says, ”I’m enjoying working with John Irvin. I’m really excited about working with various directors and I’m talking about a future project with a woman director.” Take that, Woody.