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37
4.2 out of 5 stars
Zelig [DVD]
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on 26 August 2014
One of the more esoteric of Woody Allen's movies, in my view very underrated. Many people exhibit the chameleon-like qualities of Zelig to a greater or lesser degree, so it's well worth watching if you like to find out what makes people tick.
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on 25 October 2014
A mockumentary featuring Woody Allen as the human chameleon. Did the author of Forrest Gump (the book appeared two years later than this movie) find inspiration in the way Zelig gets involved in important events in history?
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on 25 July 2013
Look out for Zelig in every scene.
Seen him ?
Play this game with your self throughout.
Its is a magical thing to see Zelig in situations
most of us remember seeing and keeping
stored in our brain.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 8 September 2004
...Or so at least goes the "Velvet Goldmine" version of one of Oscar Wilde's more brilliant remarks. "Zelig" is generally held to be a minor movie in the Woody canon. It's not as rib-ticklingly hilarious as "Bananas" or "Love and Death", it's not as painful as "Husbands and Wives", it's not as self-consciously important as "Crimes and Misdemeanors" or all those Serious ones I haven't seen. But, in its sidelong, teasing way, it's one of the truest films Allen has ever made.
Most of the immediate fun is to be found in the brilliance with which Allen and Gordon Willis fabricate their fake footage of this utterly forgotten celebrity, Leonard Zelig, the man who wanted to be liked by whomever he happened to be with at the time. But the actual theme of the movie is surely something very close to Allen's heart. His filmography is evidence enough of a man who desperately wants the affection of his audience, even when this conflicts with his desire to make Serious Movies about Important Stuff. Would you really rather watch "September" instead of "Annie Hall"? If you would, then you are watching movies for some very strange reasons. That many of his latest movies haven't even found a distributor on this side of the Atlantic is probably because he still can't help trying to be an entertainer, even though people have come to expect more from him. But I hear that "Anything Else" is something of a return to form, so I hope he still has some more great movies in him. (Even though, with "Annie Hall" and "Radio Days" and "Crimes and..." and "Harry" under his belt, to name but four, he's already a great director.)
The technical excellence of the movie is beside the point. This is a peculiarly touching film. Allen's own performance, restricted to snatches of fake cine footage and crackly voice-over, is perfect for a change. (I personally think that much of the impact of, say, "Crimes and Misdemeanors" is spoilt by Allen's weaknesses as a straight actor. When called upon to be moving, he lapses into sad clown mode.) The idea is kept firmly under control, and the jokes are in the service of the story. I could wish that the likes of Susan Sontag and Irving Howe could have kept the smirks off their faces a little better, but the idea of "Zelig", a man who can't stand not to be liked, is one of the best stories ever told about Woody Allen himself. It may not be the most sock-it-to-'em movie he's ever made, but it's up there with "Deconstructing Harry" as one of his finest studies of celebrity.
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on 14 October 2013
What a greatly imaginative, funny and historical film including some sharp gagst and great special effects with Woody Allen at his best.
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on 9 December 2013
This is very funny in parts, but basically one idea stretched a little thin. Best bits are the metamorphosis sequences.
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on 3 February 2013
This is one of those films I will need to watch again to decide
on star ratings, but I look forward to doing so.
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on 25 March 2015
the film not as good as i remember it,very clever considering when it was made but preferred Broadway Danny Rose
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on 18 July 2015
How to describe this - a one off. Bought it for just that reason.
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on 16 September 2014
Love Woody, he can do no wrong!
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