1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Superb Comedy From Woody Allen's Career Zenith,
This review is from: Hannah and Her Sisters [DVD] (1986) (DVD)
I am impressed by the lack of perception displayed by those individuals proffering 2 and 3-star reviews.
H&HS is an ensemble comedy with the trio of sisters at the centre of the action. Circling around them are their lovers and parents and Woody himself as Hannah's ex-husband Mickey. The movie begins at a Thanksgiving party and ends at another one a couple of years later.
Mia Farrow as Hannah does have a comparatively restrained role because she is the sister the others rely on for support; all the same, she does get to display a range of emotions including anger and frustration, happiness and patience. Both her sisters (Holly, Leigh) are flaky and vulnerable in different ways, Holly as an actress cum singer cum caterer cum etc, Leigh artistic in a more passive way, a muse rather than a creator. All three are the plausible consequences of two boozy unfaithful actor-parents.
The important point is that the ensemble is brilliant and the script is brilliant for creating so many interesting problems, such as Leigh's affair with Hannah's husband (Michael Caine) and Mickey's determination to find religion after a brush with death. Allen has created a whole raft of unique characters, even comparatively minor characters like the parents or Frederick the artist are memorable. He fuses dialogue with internal monologue and word cards like those seen later in episodes of Frasier. The great thing is, Allen's pov doesn't prevent his acknowledging other ideas and perspectives.