Allen's best, and one of the best films ever. (by polystyreneman64)
The film that bested Star Wars for the 1977 Best Picture Oscar, Annie Hall is a remarkable achievement in filmmaking that transcends its simple, romantic premise to create a stunning portrait of not only 70's pop culture, but of human nature cumulative. Directed and co-written by Woody Allen, who has since directed other gems such as Hannah and Her Sisters and The Purple Rose of Cairo, Annie Hall also stars Allen as Alvy Singer, a neurotic, death-obsessed comedian who seems unlucky in love and life. That is until he meets Annie, brilliantly played by Diane Keaton, who is beautiful, <more>
fashion-savvy, carefree she likes using expressions like `la di da' , and a terrible driver.Annie and Alvy's relationship is an unlikely one. She's a Midwestern girl, straight out of white-bread Wisconsin; he's a life-long New York Jew who grew up literally under the Coney Island roller coaster. He's been seeing a therapist for the past 16 years; she only `needs' one once she meets him. She's an extroverted aspiring singer; he's an introverted, world-despising imp. Yet Allen and Keaton are so perfect in their roles, they improbably make this couple one of the most memorable ever.The plot revolves around Alvy's chronicles of loves lost and a retrospective on his relationship with Annie, with whom he has since parted ways. At the end of the film, we see Alvy try his hand at stage-writing-he writes a play about his relationship with Annie, but gives it a happy ending. Yes, Annie and Alvy don't have a fairy tale ending to their relationship, but Alvy certainly wishes they had, even though he learns to live with the acknowledgment it has failed.The best part of Annie Hall is its incredible screenplay-the best ever to be written. Not a word is wasted nor a line unquotable. Except here, while Allen's early films had thrived on streams of one-liners, Allen doesn't go for cheap laughs-each line is simultaneously hilarious and poignant. Everything is part of a greater whole. We laugh because it's funny, but there's a greater dynamic at work in Annie Hall. This is a story not exclusively about a relationship between two people, but also a musing on 70's politics, drugs, East Coast/West Coast rivalry, narcissism, religion, celebrity, and several other topics with which Allen deals with extraordinary ease.Yet Annie Hall would not be among my favorite films of all-time if it were just Woody Allen ranting and raving about what he likes and dislikes. There are other Allen films that serve that purpose, i.e. Deconstructing Harry, and they're not nearly as good. What separates Annie Hall is its grace, the believable chemistry between Keaton and Allen, the unique direction ranging from split-screens to cartoon imagery to on-screen subtitles of what the actors are thinking , but mostly because it's the rare film to find a perfect balance between sheer entertainment, humor, and poignancy. When the dust had settled, Diane Keaton deservedly won an Academy Award for her performance, Allen took home Oscars for direction and writing, and the film beat out Star Wars for Best Picture, which most people consider a complete sham. Evidently, those people didn't see Annie Hall, for if they had, they'd recognize that the acting, writing, and even the direction in Star Wars can't hold a candle to Annie Hall, one of the best films ever made.10/10
Witty and Charming, one of Allen's greatest achievements. (by boycebrown-1)
Annie Hall is a movie about life. In recent films, there are fairly predictable endings. i.e. guy gets girl after chase scene in Manhattan . Annie Hall goes against the grain of movies. There is definite chemistry between Allen and Keaton. That is one of the main reasons this movie is successful. Alvy and Annie do not have high wage jobs, they do not go clubbing, nor are they incredibly attractive. Why does a movie character relationship have to be so extreme it's unconvincing? These days movie producers create plots that are unbelievable. They don't have any depth and usually have <more>
shallow intentions. You can sense that the two leads care for each other. The situations in this movie resemble real life and that is why it is so critically acclaimed and remembered. Sure Woody talked into the camera, but that, in a sense is real life as well. It reminds me of my usual thought process and how when I think; I feel as though I'm presenting my thoughts to myself. Only he is, presenting it to us. This movie is clever and thought provoking. If you're looking for the opposite of a yearly run of the mill movie, this is for you.
Landmark Storytelling from Allen's Creative Mind (by nycritic)
At the time, no one had done this: tell a story in the manner that Woody Allen did. Even though many films up until then were talky, with minimal action, with the exception of CITIZEN KANE, nothing of the sort prepared the audience at the time for what they were witnessing: scenes that introduced dialog between two actors much before they actually showed on screen. Scenes in which actors interacted with the past as if it were the present. Scenes in which actors who aren't in the same frame even when they are on screen talk to each other. Scenes in which what the characters are saying does <more>
not match their thought bubbles and we are privy to their thoughts. The discussion of an intellectual's work which suddenly produces the said individual, among many more.ANNIE HALL is a unique film that still looks fresh, even when the style in itself is very 70s. This is a story of a breakup told in a non-linear pattern, showing how these two disparate yet similar people -- Alvy Singer and Annie Hall -- came together, shared their neuroses, went through hilarious times and then went into the slow plateau that became their eventual separation. This is not the kind of story that Hollywood likes to tell and it's quite admirable that Allen was able to not only get away with it but to walk away with the major awards as well as give then girlfriend Diane Keaton her own Best Actress award because this being such an intellectual film and not one where the actors all look glamorous, it broke new grounds for a novel way of presenting a film.Groundbreaking is the definite term here. Had there been no ANNIE HALL, there would have never been ALLY MACBEAL or SEX AND THE CITY, two successful sitcoms that features inner dialog, people talking directly to the camera and therefore winking at the audience , fantasy sequences, and modern views of how people react to each other. Balancing slapstick with drama, it is also one of the saddest comedies to ever been made and anyone who has seen the final sequence -- which plays out what the film has mentioned all along, that this is their breakup -- knows the heartbreak that unfolds over Diane Keaton's haunting vocals. One of the ten most influential movies of all time.
`Annie Hall', long thought to be Woody Allen's opus, is perhaps a perfect romantic comedy because it not only shows the happy, touching moments of relationships, but also displays the reality of coupling the occasional waning of interest in one another, the hypercritical moments, etc. It is absolutely brilliantly written; Woody Allen exhibits his usual dry humor and self-deprecation, but also his sensitive, passionate and romantic side. It was because of this film that I fell in love with Woody Allen at the age of twelve take your cheap shot here and almost twenty years later he <more>
still is that intellectual, bookish and humorous ideal. Diane Keaton was his muse and co-star for this film, and they are perfect counterparts so much so that their interaction onscreen doesn't seem like viewing two actors in a film, but is a much more voyeuristic experience. Watching `Annie Hall' is like sitting at a bistro table and observing another couple a few tables away, and that is just one of the elements that make this film so endearing. Most people can relate to at least some aspects of Alvy and Annie's relationship, which helps make this film a timeless one. However, `Annie Hall' is not just a good romantic comedy; it is a film that engages some unusual storytelling techniques. Actors speak directly to the audience, characters interact with strangers on the street who just happen to know the answers to the personal questions posed, there is a brief animation scene, etc. While none of these approaches were new in 1977, their execution was inspired. `Annie Hall' is like a fond memory, or a favorite old song anytime I have discussed this film with others their smiling expressions are usually tinged with a hint of nostalgia, because one can look back on either their past or current relationship and do what precious few films allow us to do relate on a personal level.--Shelly
Woody is an intelligent man who worries about the issues of film-making. The primary concern, the very first problem, is always to decide what the relationships are among the audience, the camera, the narrator if any, and the characters.Woody was on his way to making a murder mystery, which is the purest form of messing about with these relationships. In a much studied decision, they decided to cut out all the mystery and just focus on the context. In this case, that context is a richly layered evocation of a relationship. I really wish I could see the original film to discover the mysteries <more>
Woody intended to hide in the folds.And the folds are as numerous and complex as they can get. We have a framing device where Woody speaks to us partly as a conversation which blends into a standup, which is mirrored as a part of the story. We have timeshifting where we move back and forth in time in a simple 'Tarantino' way; but we go way past: characters from the 'present' enter the past as Dickensian ghosts, then they talk to characters in the past. we have characters in different pasts talking to each other via split screen. We have a layering of Woody and Diane's relationship in real life, then the film, then TWO films within: a play which is part of the action and a cartoon which is the action itself.More: we have Woody talking to the audience as if we were shifted into the play -- early in that play we are introduced to Bergman and Fellini: in both cases while they are waiting outside. These are the two inventors of folded narrative. Even more: while some bozo perfessor spouts off about Fellini and McLuhan, Woody enlists the audience to challenge him and drags out McLuhan himself! The joke of course is that McLuhan himself was a vapid weaver of lowbrow theories.And more and more with the constant weaving of 'analysis' and other film-like activities: singers, photographers, TeeVee stars, models...This period was when he was first exposed to Wallace Shawn who was hanging out with Terrence Malick, two other innovators in narrative folding. All the 'New Yorker' stuff means more when you know Shawn's father was the long-time editor of that publication and defined the self-absorbed reflection that characterizes the city and this film.Keaton's manner was essential to pulling this off, someone who could pull off the story about her uncle dying while waiting for a Turkey. Watch her.. she is clued in to simultaneously being in herself Keaton , herself Hall , inside the story she is telling and inside the story Woody is telling. She shifts and guffaws just as if she were stoned and moving among realities, just as her character.Just amazing and intelligent. Will we ever see this the way it was written and shot? Or is that mystery too intelligent for us, who prefer to think of this as a funny, endearing love story.
Woody Allen's seminal 1977 romantic comedy "Annie Hall" is not only laugh-out-loud funny with some of the most quotable dialogue ever written for the screen...this is the "Casablanca" of comedies, folks but also sweet and charming due in large part because of Diane Keaton's smashing performance as the title character, the flighty singer from Wisconsin with a quirky fashion sense and "neat" outlook on life without ever turning trite or sappy like so many romantic comedies tend to do. Allen wisely deconstructed the genre with his non-linear story-line <more>
something that was later done to even greater effect with a more recent and profound look at relationships, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and charming little theatrical tricks like talking to the audience or pulling extras into the scene for their opinions on what's been going on. It keeps the viewer off guard and allows for a free flow of comedic and philosophical ideas that might otherwise not have found their way into a more traditional film.In his latter years, Allen's best work has been when he is not part of the cast my personal favorites being "Bulletts over Broadway," "Sweet and Lowdown," and the recent "Match Point" . "Annie Hall" was made in his heyday when he could still pull off playing a neurotic New York Jewish comedienne with charm and panache. There's something innocent and benign about his obsessions here, as this was long before the Woody/Soon-Yi fiasco and the days of grossly miscasting himself against younger female co-stars. Yes, Mr. Allen has been artsier witness "Manhattan" and more satirical witness "Zelig" but here, with Diane Keaton as his muse, he was never more charming or funnier.
New York angst on the romance couch. (by jnaradzay)
Annie Hall shows us the love story between Alvy Singer Woody Allen and Annie Hall Diane Keaton . We watch Alvy as he matures and moves through several relationships set against the true love of his life: Annie Hall.Alvy helps Annie grow and come out of her shell as evinced by the growth of Annies blossoming singing career. Even the songs are a metaphor for their relationship. Her first song "It had to be you" when their relationship starts. Later she sings in a mature, sultry voice "Seems like old times." Set against snapshots of their romance.Keep your eye out for <more>
these young actors: Christopher Walken pre-Deer Hunter, as Annie's psycho brother "I dream of turning the wheel into the on coming lights." Alvy interrupts him "I have to get back to the planet earth." Jeff Goldblum pre-Big Chill, Jurassic Park, The Fly, In Tony Lacey's house calling his guru: "I forgot my mantra." Paul Simon as Tony Lacey a Californian music star. Carol Kane as Alvy's first wife whose relationship is influenced by Alvy's obsession with JFK's assassination conspiracy theories. Colleen Dewhurst, Annie's WASP mother, talking through the split screen to Alvy's mother. See if you can spot Sigourney Weaver as Alvy's date standing in front of the movie theater when Alvy meets Annie in NY at the end of the movie. Watch Gary Mule Deer in full afro when Alvy meets Annie in California. Now Gary tours with Johnny Mathis. Shelly Duvall as the transcendent Rolling Stone reporter. In a few years she will become Olive Oyl then Wendy of the famous "Here's Johnny" scene from the shining. My, how this movie hasn't aged at all. And that really is Truman Capote walking through the park when Alvy says, "And this guy gets the Truman Capote look-alike award." You have got to like Tony Robbins, a square jawed ladies man in many of Woody Allen's movies Radio Days, A midsummer nights sex comedy, Play it again Sam . You don't mind seeing Robbins type cast because you instantly know that he is going to be the perfect opposite of Allen's angst filled Alvy.Another Woody Allen directing feature that I happen to like is his use of the split screen and the fixed screen. In both, the camera doesn't move thereby forcing you to get involved in the dialogue. These techniques work because Woody Allen has strong, tight dialogue and truly dramatic actors.Many of the scenes from the late 70's and early 80's are wonderful to watch because they reflect the matter of fact mores and fads of the time: Snorting cocaine was cool, the veggie-burger-tofu California scene, the liberal Columbia college satire.Listen carefully to the background chatter during the California scene at Tony Lacey's house with swinging' hip background music. Hysterical lines that you can use in your office today: "Right now it is only a notion, but I think I can get the money to make it into a concept then later turn it into an idea." Woody Allen has satirized and captured the language and mind set of the entire movie/music industries. A memorable scene is when Alvy pulls Marshall McLuhan out from behind a movie placard to refute some bombastic guy pontificating about McLuhan's poetry. You wish you could do the same.Truly a great movie that ages well and has a sweet message about romance.
I am not a huge fan of Woody Allen and my wife can't hardly stand to watch him. As a result, I have only seen a half-dozen of Woody Allen movies. With the exception of "Manhattan", I have been unimpressed or felt them to be downright horrible.I have heard so much about "Annie Hall" that I had to take the time to watch it. It was on HBO in Hi-Definition, so why not? Indeed, this is a wonderful movie. While not a big Diane Keaton fan, it was most certainly the best performance of her career that I have seen. I think the casting was exceptional and she handled the <more>
material well.I tend to like to immerse myself in a movie. Woody's use of the aside talking to the audience , is a little distracting, but the short scene with Marshall McLuhan was a wonderful shot at self-absorbed intellectuals.The plot idea is very good. I think so many of Woody Allen's characters in so many of his movies have been this same character over and over again. I think this is the definitive Woody Allen character. So much of his recent work as been a pale imitation.Even if you aren't a Woody fan, I have to recommend this as a creative piece of comedic cinema.
Okay, Woody Allen could be annoying sometimes and is heavily neurotic even in this film which he wrote and directed. The film is somewhat autobiographical about his relationships with a WASP woman named Annie Hall played by Diane Keaton in her Oscar winning role. Woody plays himself in the film even with a different name. Even though it's a short film, the story moves quickly and you have to be alert for some of the humor about the relationship between men and women. The supporting cast includes Tony Roberts, Paul Simon, Carol Kane and others. Woody's hatred of Los Angeles and all <more>
things Californian is well-known and documented. He is out of touch when he is away from New York City where he is equally neurotic. As a couple at first, Woody and Annie get along great but slowly Woody's own negativity creeps into the relationship. Annie starts seeing a therapist and their relationship unravels. When Annie's promising career as a cabaret singer rises, Woody becomes threatened and goes to Los Angeles to bring her back.