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Annie Hall

20 November 2013

Annie Hall                                           4 ½ stars


“Annie Hall” is a movie written by, directed by and starring Woody Allen (“Bananas”, “Sleeper”) so it is very much his film and what an excellent job he has done with it. The film is often considered a comedy but really it is anything but because Allen gives a very bleak overlook on life here.

In “Annie Hall” Jewish-stereotype comedian Alvy Singer (Allen) meets a ditsy girl named Annie Hall (Diane Keaton “The Godfather”). The movie actually starts after the two have separated and is Alvy’s look back on the relationship as he tries to figure out what went wrong between the two. It’s very witty and completely the opposite of optimistic.

Allen is fantastic here, he is an actor who has created an onscreen and off-screen persona that we are so used to seeing and has become so incredibly well established. I like the sections where Allen addresses the audience. Diane Keaton is also good. The two have awkward conversations together (e.g. the one where Alvy tells her you need to be happy if you live a miserable life) but it works so unbelievably well in its context. Watch out for appearances by Jeff Goldblum (“Jurassic Park”), Christopher Walken (“Pulp Fiction”), John Glover (“Batman and Robin”) and Shelley Duvall (“The Shining”).

“Annie Hall” isn’t quite perfect but what it offers is a film that is so unbelievably impressive with its intelligent perspective on existence. Allen has produced a film that isn’t laugh-out-loud funny but in some ways it is something more: it makes you think deep, deep thoughts. It’s a fabulous movie that perhaps could be improved with more scenes or at least longer scenes but maybe that would hinder the film, I don’t know; I’d be interested in seeing a version of the film that is longer (I doubt one exists).