Customer Review

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Allen's most autobiographical and entertaining film, 6 Jun 2003
This review is from: Annie Hall [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
Annie Hall is Woody Allen's masterpiece, and indeed any film that can beat Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope to the 1977 Best Picture Oscar must be pretty damn good, and it is. This is Woody Allen's most autobiographical movie, and the lead character of Alvy Singer is a pretty thin disguise. Even Diane Keaton's real name is Diane Hall, giving another clue to just how close to 'art imitating life' this movie is.
What makes this movie a masterpiece is in the variety of techniques and different types of scenes Woody Allen manages to blend and weave together so seamlessly. Flashbacks where his present day character and friends are standing in the middle of the action, looking on; Split screens where the characters in either seen are interacting; The most ingeniuous use of subtitles in cinematic history (the classic scene where Annie and Alvy are sizing each other up) and even an animated sequence.
Needless to say, the script and screenplay are among Allen's very best, and as per usual, Allen gets the lion's share of the best lines. But what is most enjoyable is the fact that it is very easy to identify with much of what is going on. His portrayal of how relationships end and the uneasy aftermath is so unerringly accurate that you can't help but feel that the nail is being hit squarely on the head. There are also a few interesting cameos, including Paul Simon, Jeff Goldblum, Sigourney Weaver (albeit a walk-on!) and Shelly Duvall.
The DVD is much like many other MGM titles in that it is pretty sparse with the extras. You only get the original theatrical trailer, which I always think is a bit pointless having a trailer for a movie you are about to watch, but nevermind. As far as extras go, that's yer lot I'm afraid, but I wasn't really that bothered by the lack of goodies on the DVD, and was perfectly happy with the widescreen presentation and the overall picture and sound quality are great.
Even for those who are usually sceptical of Woody Allen's brand of film-making, this is a real treat, and a movie that hits on a personal level. I hate the tag this film has earned as a 'romantic comedy', as I think it is wholly inaccurate. Comedy? Yes, but it's not intended to be a side-splitter. Romance? Well, it's about a romantic relationship maybe, but to dump it in the Romance genre would be a grave injustice. I don't know how to classify it myself, so suffice it to say that it doesn't need any other classification other than 'Best Picture Oscar Winning movies'.. which seems about right.
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4.0 out of 5 stars (52 customer reviews)
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