And the Oscar Goes to:
Annie Hall, 1977
Directed by: Woody Allen
Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane, Paul Simon, Janet Margolin, Shelley Duvall, Christopher Walken, Colleen Dewhurst
Written by, directed by and starring Woody Allen, Annie Hall is about a relationship between two people, comedian Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) and Annie Hall (Diane Keaton, The Godfather). As well as their relationship, we follow through Alvy Singer’s life through interactive flashbacks, which is a brilliant trick to use. Alvy breaks the fourth wall quite a lot, in present day and while in his own flashbacks, and this added to the comedy, especially when he stops random people in the street to ask why his relationship is failing and they answer despite their character to being established within their life. One of the best moments of this, though, was when Alvy Singer was waiting in a queue and the gentleman behind him was talking loudly about a film he’d seen (which Alvy hadn’t seen yet) and Alvy grows increasingly frustrated by the gentleman’s loud speaking, so when he breaks the fourth wall and brings the gentleman out of the queue, it resonates with us as it’s something I’m sure everyone will have been through at some point.
The comedy is really well done, and that’s not even considering Alvy is a comedian. There is one moment where Annie calls Alvy and begs him to come over because of an emergency, and he arrives to find out there’s a spider in her room. Their acting, the writing and the looks on their faces all make it genuinely funny. The editing is really well done, too, as there are seamless transitions adding Alvy into the past’s actions, adding to some gorgeous long shots.
Woody Allen and Diane Keaton are both fantastic in this film, with them both appearing charming, genuine and loveable, despite the flaws they show (Alvy’s obsession with death and Annie’s lack of sexual appetite). They had a genuine friendship outside of work, and they’d done multiple films together prior to Annie Hall, and this is evident with the chemistry they show together on screen.
A truly nice, funny and entertaining film, with great performances, a unique flashback style, an entertaining breaking of the fourth wall and a diverse group of themes explored (death, depression, loneliness and friendship) makes Annie Hall a very, very good film.
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