Haunting, mordantly amusing, deliciously sexy, Enemies, a Love Story is Paul Mazursky’s triumphant adapation of the Isaac Bashevis Singer novel about a Holocaust survivor who finds himself married to three women in 1949 New York.
Ron Silver is fascinatingly enigmatic in the lead role of Herman Broder. He’s a quietly charming, somewhat withdrawn man whose cushy job as a ghostwriter for a very reformed rabbi (Alan King) gives him plenty of time to attend to his deliriously complicated love life.
The character simultaneously is married to a devoted but cloddish woman (Margaret Sophie Stein), is carrying on a passionate affair with a sultry married woman (Lena Olin), and also finds himself back in the arms of his long-vanished wife (Anjelica Huston), who was thought to be lost in the war.
Like Silver, the audience will find it difficult to prefer one of his three women over the others, since Stein, Olin, and Huston are equally captivating. Olin is sensational here as the doomed Masha, for whom lovemaking is the best assertion of life over the inevitability of self-destruction.
1989: Nominations: Best Supp. Actress (Anjelica Huston, Lena Olin), Adapted Screenplay