Thursday, 16 February 2012

Annie Hall

Annie Hall, 1977
Directed by Woody Allen
Up Against: The Goodbye Girl, Julia, The Turning Point, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

Woody Allen directs and stars in this film. While it's only the second Woody Allen film I've seen (the first being Midnight in Paris- yes I'm behind on things), it's the first film I've seen him act in.

Allen plays a wonderfully dorky, intelluctual, neurotic comedian, living in New York City. He's been married twice already, and opens up the film telling us that life is full of loneliness and it's over too quickly, and that he'd never be a part of a club that has a member like himself. Right off the bat we get an idea about who Alvy Singer is and what he's about. He's not like most guys.

Alvy is in love with a woman named Annie Hall. She's slightly ditsy, and a different kind of neurotic. She's flighty and simple-minded, while Alvy is a deep-thinker who's always pinned as being slightly hostile, obsessed with death and paranoid. The story of their love is told in a narrative that jumps back and forth between present and past, and is riddled with captions stating what they're thinking, their present selves visiting their past selves, and frequently addressing the audience with their thoughts. It's a quirky love story, but it's utterly charming.

The film tells us about how Alvy and Annie were introduced (playing tennis), how they got together, the good times, the bad times, the break-ups, the other one-night stands and the getting back together. And the circle continues. While the story doesn't have too much of a plot, it's interesting. It's more of a documentary of 2 lovers in New York, living life.

In a way this film reminded me of (500) Days of Summer. Not so much what the film was about, but more how they were both told in quirky, unique ways, and focused on how different they both were (Tom and Summer, and Alvy and Annie). Had this film been told how regular movies are told, with little voice-over narrative, few flashbacks and a definitie plot, this film would've been a lot less charming than it was. Alvy is cooky but you feel for him, and you love his quirks. Annie is erratic, but you come to love and care about her too.

I loved Woody Allen playing Alvy. Yes I know he wrote the screenplay, but I thought he was perfectly dorky, and carried the part so well. He really understand Alvy (duh), but really portrayed him well too, with great timing and perfect awkwardness. Diane Keaton was also great as Annie. She was the perfect balance between being erratic and simple-minded. She brought passion into the part, and played Annie well. Hence her winning the Oscar for the role.

Of course, the screenplay was great. Woody Allen seems strongest suit really seems to be writing. Many times I wished he'd write novels, while watching this movie. They would be incredibly interesting.

The only few flaws of the film was many-a-times, a flashback scene would be shown, and I'm never really sure if it's ended, or if we're back in the present. It's easy when we're seeing flashbacks of Alvy and his ex-wives, but his flashbacks with Annie are less defined, and the scene at the beginning of the movie, I'm never sure if after that we went completely to the beginning and went chronologically, or if we came back to that point and did present time then flashbacks, alternating.

But overall, I really enjoyed the film. It's so different from other Best Picture's I've watched so far. It was a cute movie, it was funny and sarcastic, and it was enjoyable to watch!

Acting- 9/10     
Directing- 8/10     
Screenplay- 9/10     
Music – 7.5/10    
Visuals- 7.5/10     
Entertaining- 9/10    
Emotional Connection- 7.5/10     
Rewatchability- 8/10     
Overall Enjoyment- 9/10     
Overall Package- 8.5/10      

Total: 83/100 

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