For Woody Allen, I feel no need to defend him, and, alas, bad behavior does seem prevalent among too many superstar athletes, entertainers, and writers, but who really knows? I guess Woody and Dylan know, and it's even possible they are both remembering inexactly. An awkward aspect to the whole business is that those of us who respect Woody's several masterpieces (and willingly admit he has at least a dozen mediocre ones) do tend to return to them as a kind of "comfort food" for film. That is, we watch Annie Hall or Manhattan when we are feeling blue. Yeah, we turn to Woody to take the edge off our own lives.
Even before Dylan's op-ed in The New York Times, there were already plenty of swirling rumors, so I guess this isn't exactly the unexpected thing. And of course, everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and the rich, miraculously, wind up much more innocent than the rest of us. . . well, erring on the side of the victim, and assuming Dylan's version is truthful or more accurate, I hope she has found a bit of peace by expressing herself. I appreciated hearing former NBA star Keyon Dooling express as much once he spoke out about his childhood abuser although his wife did not look pleased to hear him say as much to Katie Couric on television. Of course, many victims never find peace.
As for Philip Seymour Hoffman, it's a sad story, and, for me, not being aware of his history almost an unbelievable one. How is it that someone so productive, operating on such a high level in so many films over so many years, could also be a heroin addict? Unlike Woody, who, as stated, did produce numerous B and C films in between his best ones, almost everything Hoffman touched turned to gold, at least his role in it. I'd say State and Main, 25th Hour, and Charlie Wilson's War are some of my favorites from him. And it's always particularly sad, even scary, to see a contemporary move on.
I suspect that us more regular and less productive types will never know how either one of these guys operates.
Late breaking: A couple days later, my attention was brought to this Slate piece on Philip Seymour Hoffman, and it does sound like he was sober for almost his entire acting career until a relapse beginning with "popping prescription pain pills" in 2012. So that makes a lot more sense and also makes his story that much sadder. And scarier, too.
Later breaking: And now Dylan's brother Moses takes Woody's side, and I really have no idea of what to believe although from the article I learned that Moses is a family therapist. . . if this were a film or novel would he be anything else?
Latest breaking: Woody Allen claims he is innocent and blames Mia Farrow