JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Annie Hall (Director: Woody Allen) - April 20, 2022

Annie Hall

4 4
93 min.

Singer vs. Singer

In this somewhat autobiographical film’s opening monologue, Allen quotes the old adage (usually attributed yo Groucho Marx) , “I do not want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.” Prophetic words indeed as the acclaimed comedian’s personal life threatened to put him in the unsavoury club of child molesters—lots of allegations but nothing proven.

The film is worthy for Best Picture on two fronts: the magical chemistry between Diane Keaton in the title role as a wannabe singer, and Allen’s perfectly timed wisecracks as a comedian on the rise playing Alvy Singer (lines like “a man of my gender”; “[sex] the most fun I’ve had without laughing”, the lobster scene and death to a spider—reinforcing the death-obsessed comic’s darker side—still tickle funny bones in 2022. The imaginative split-screen cinematography “conversations” are a hoot as if the “what they were really thinking” sequence far before texting was even thought about.

Finally, the line, “seems like old times”, is curiously truer today than when this comedy took home Oscar’s gold. JWR

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Director - Woody Allen
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