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Hannah And Her Sisters [Blu-ray]
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One of Woody Allen s best-loved films, this won three richly deserved Oscars* (for Michael Caine, Dianne Wiest and the screenplay), and is a joy from start to perfectly judged finish.
Hannah (Mia Farrow) is a devoted wife, loving mother and successful actress. She s also the emotional backbone of the family, and her sisters Lee (Barbara Hershey) and Holly (Dianne Wiest) depend on this stability while also resenting it because they can t help but compare Hannah s seemingly perfect life with theirs. But with her husband Elliot (Michael Caine) becoming increasingly interested in Lee, it s clear that Hannah might have problems of her own.
An unusually strong supporting cast includes Allen himself as Hannah s existentially conflicted ex-husband and Max von Sydow as a perfectionist artist, but it s Caine who practically steals the film as a middle-aged man behaving like a lovesick teenager. It also has some of Allen s greatest one-liners, with a philosophical discussion about the nature of good and evil getting shot down with How should I know why there were Nazis? I don t even know how the can opener works.
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Top Customer Reviews
Hannah and her sisters is a beautiful movie that makes me feel so content and peeaceful by the end. The pacing is sublime, locations are exquisite and the ensemble cast fits together like the proverbial glove.
Woody Allen movies are loquacious to say they least. This movie has some wonderful dialogue with not a swear word, violence or nudity anywhere. In many ways it's an old fashioned movie with a happy ending.
We follow the trials and downfall of Hannah and her sisters. We watch as they slowly and painfully turn adversity into a kind of triumph that we would all like to achieve in our lives as they put the pieces of life's jigsaw puzzle back together.
Hannah and her sisters is Allens most optimistic movie. His neuroses with death is, as with all his earlier works, prevalent in this. But the difference is that for the first time, he finds resolution to his fears. We all have these same fears and uncertainties. Many of us never resolve them. Maybe that's why we have the movies.
I could watch this movie every week. Finally I have it on bluray. The picture is good, if a little saturated in places. But who cares when a movie is this good.
I wouldn't call this movie a comedy. It's a snapshot of life. And as such, it's very beautiful and satisfying.
For some reason, Woody's movies never get the full DVD treatment, and here we receive no narratives, documentaries or interviews. The DVD menu is bland and cheaply done. We are not even offered Dolby sound, though I concede that the movie was originally recorded in mono. What we do get is the movie, dubbed in five languages (English, German, French, Spanish and Italian) and theatrical trailer.
Woody is an important figure in cinema but not huge box-office. That may explain why MGM lavishes so little attention on the DVDs of his work.
(Mild spoiler) It features a rare movie happy ending that's actually earned!
This is probably the closest to Annie Hall of all Woody Allen films in the mix of wit, technical proficiency, sophisticated style, acting, emotion, etc. He takes a bevy of characters and creates a complex heartfelt portrait of family, lovers, friends, and artists that's funny but with insightful bite. A rare film that acknowledges how wonderful life is, without denying how hard it can be at the same time. Or at least how hard we find ways to make it.
Allen plays Mickey Sachs, a troubled television producer struggling with the question of the meaning of life. A series of experiences lead him to try and find his 'higher truth,' in the same inimitable and hilarious style portrayed in so many of Allen's films. Artistic and philosophical anecdotes and queries are applied relevantly and humourously, making the viewer laugh as well as ponder.
Mickey's ex-wife Hannah is played brilliantly by Mia Farrow, and the cast is completed by a host of other great names including Michael Caine, Barbara Hershey, Dianne Wiest, Carrie Fisher and, one of Allen's favourites, Julie Kavner. The film focuses intently on the theme of reality: the lives of three ordinary sisters, the ones they love, and the lengths taken to keep the peace and help each other: but not without a few mishaps on the way. The integration of Allen's character and the sisters is brought together at the end in a way the viewer could never expect.
With a musical score including music by McCarthy-Monaco and Cahn-Styne, and references to artists and poets such as E.E Cummings cleverly applied, 'Hannah and her Sisters' really is Woody at his best.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent rich tapestry portrait of the mess that is life, love, and family with some classic one liners from Woody Allen himselfPublished 1 month ago by snoo
Thanksgiving with the family is always a time of unrest and uncertainty. And, in this film, it starts slowly, but soon we are engrossed in the entire lives of Hannah and her... Read morePublished 3 months ago by prisrob
Deserves to be as well known as Annie Hall or Manhattan (not that it is *unknown*...). WA's greatest film.Published 7 months ago by MR LINKS