Release year: 1977
Director: Woody Allen
Screenwriter: Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman
Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Robers, Carol Kane, Paul Simon, Shelley Duvall, Janet Margolin, Christopher Walken
Ratings: 4 Oscars: Best Picture, Best Actress (Diane Keaton), Best Director, Best Original Screenplay. 1 Oscar nomination: Best Actor (Woody Allen). 1 Golden Globe: Best Picture Musical/Comedy
Moviegeek Sunday Classic #9, week 32 2014
The tale of neurotic New Yorker Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) and his relationship with the tipsy Annie Hall (Diane Keaton).
Woody Allen is, I suppose, not for everyone. In fact, I know he isn’t. His talkative and neurotic style inspires either admiration or nausea. However, Allen is a master at what he does; his own unique style of movie making is both what makes him somewhat repetitive and what makes him stand apart. In Annie Hall he plays a character which is very familiar to people who have watched more than one of his older movies: the neurotic New Yorker, who is both irresistable to women (for some reason) and terrible at relationships, his biggest flaw being that he is unable to allow himself to feel pleasure. His themes are all the familiar ones: Jewishness, New York, sex, modern relationships, intellectualism, death, neuroticism etc. Annie Hall focuses on Woddy Allen’s neurotic comedian Alvy and his on/off relationship with the title character (early Woody Allen stable Diane Keaton). What makes the movie stand out from rest is its blatant originality: Allen frequently breaks through the fourth wall by adressing the viewers directly, characters observe scenes from each other’s past together while commenting on them, etc. This makes for a quirky watch, although it does have the slight drawback of making us so aware of the fact that we’re watching a movie that we are removed a bit to much from the central drama. The plot description above may sound rather short and the truth is that not much happens in this movie. However, it’s never dull, but always entertaining, and a wonderful movie, which makes you want to buy plane tickets for New York as soon as possible. Annie Hall is Woody Allen’s most succesful movie (in terms of awards and endurance in the hearts of his fans) as well as endlessly quotable. If you only watch one pre-Millineum Woody Allen movie, this is it.
The scene in which Woody Allen’s character sneezes into the cocaine was an unscripted accident, but test audiences responded so well to it that Allen decided to keep it in the movie.
The passer-by in a scene that Woody Allen’s character refers to as ‘the winner of the Truman Capote look-alike contest’ is actually Truman Capote. He is uncredited.
Annie Hall features an early screen appearance of Jeff Goldblum and marks the screen debut of Sigourney Weaver, who appears in a non-speaking role towards the end.