Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

Annie Hall (1977) – Classic Review

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How refreshing it is to see a romantic comedy that is clever and witty. Rom-coms nowadays tend to rely on farts, boobs and god-awful politically incorrect humour to make money, and sadly it works.

Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” is a smart, cultural and sophisticated analysis of contemporary society, addressing issues of life , death, sex, love relationships and everything in-between.

Director, writer and star of “Annie Hall” Woody Allen plays neurotic comedian Alvy Singer; a simplistic, shy and disoriented analyst of existence who’s opinion is constantly blurted and made known to those around him.

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He appears to be a curious victim of the cruelty of life, always wanting more and striving to find the explanation for everything. He doesn’t smile or laugh, his neurosis is his own antagonist in many ways; his stress, obsessive behaviour and anxiety often get the better of him.

His character, needless to say could be seen as highly entertaining but understandably highly alienating to one audiences.

Alvy is the protagonist, yet his awkwardness and nervousness have him portrayed as a sidekick-type figure to his more confident male associates whilst he is on par with his female relations. This says a lot about Alvy’s jealous, easily intimidated and apprehensive nature.

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The love interest is the quirky and ditzy ‘yin’ to Singer’s ‘yang’; Annie. Diane Keaton’s Oscar winning performance as Annie Hall is questionable in itself, however that’s not to say it is enjoyable and delightful at the same time.

The “polymorphously perverse” Hall is a likeable and sweet leading lady who is capable of rebounding off Singer’s intense and unrelenting attitude. Behind the ditziness of her, Hall is a strong lady, and that appears to be what Singer (or even Allen himself) likes in a woman.

The film is highly pretentious with it’s elaborate vocabulary and convoluted opinion on contemporaneous issues in society, but for the style and tone of the film it works well.

The witty comedy, the left of centre jokes and the unconventional storytelling; utilising various techniques like subtitles, narration, breaking of the fourth wall and animation really drive home and express the themes and motifs of the film.

A different form of romantic comedy, “Annie Hall” is a pleasant, funny synchronic exhibition of contemporary 70’s/80’s Brooklyn and it’s first world problems. A simple story that is sweet and innocent for the most part, “Annie Hall” is in the most basic of terms, a very nice film; well presented and crafted with down to earth acting.

It’s an excellent romantic comedy that is far superior to most of the rom-com garbage of today.

4/5

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This entry was posted on March 4, 2014 by in Classic Reviews.
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