Appreciating all that makes America special

Film: Annie Hall

One of the endearing conceits of many Woody Allen movies is how he wrote himself parts as a great lover. Really, Woody? Really? Uploaded by

Roger Ebert calls Annie Hall “just about everyone’s favorite Woody Allen movie.” Well, it’s not mine. (Manhattan.) But it’s certainly his most-admired, most-honored film.

One of the qualities I find fascinating in the films Allen both writes and stars in is that he casts himself as an irresistible lover. Really, Woody? Really? Even so, he’s definitely charming and funny – in his own way. Diane Keaton certainly found him so. (La dee da, la dee da.) Another thing I love about Allen is how NYC-centric he is. His world revolves around the City, and it’s his conceit that everyone else’s does, too. Still, it’s fun to see the greatest city in the world through the eyes of someone who enjoys it so profoundly. And to see the kind of people you can’t see anywhere else.

Diane Keaton and Woody Allen. Uploaded by

Allen pulls out several directorial tricks in Annie Hall that could be annoying, but he makes work. He breaks the “fourth wall” by speaking directly to the audience, he has subtitles in one scene to tell what you what the characters are thinking, and he has his characters animated for a scene. These are the things you can only do once, and Allen used them to his great advantage.

Annie Hall won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Allen. The AFI has it as a Top 40 movie in both iterations of its 100 Years…100 Movies celebration, and considered the number two romantic comedy of all time.


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