Saturday 25 March 2006

Annie Hall (1977) - ickleReview (DVD)

Classic Woody Allen - second only, in my estimation, to Manhattan. They make good companion pieces as the central relationship in both is between Diane Keaton and Woody Allen. Annie Hall (Keaton) is a nightclub singer. A bit dipsy when they meet after playing tennis with their current partners. Wonderfully awkward delivery of the lines by Keaton - she's all over the place. Of course they eventually get together and split up. The genius of this movie are the talking to camera moments, the bizarre moments when Woody consults the extras on the street about what they make of his love life - half in, half out of character. When they're waiting in line at the cinema, Woody brings out the real Marshall McLuhan to set a pretentious Columbia professor straight.

There is an odd beginning with titles and NO JAZZ SOUNDTRACK! Then Woody, talking traight to camera, launches into two quickfire jokes, so beware to pay attention. He does in fact use some of his stand-up material in the movie - I wonder if the audio from that came from the live performance and he added the pictures later.

This movie is a little rough around the edges, but it's full of laughs and great lines, such as when Allen (whose character's name is Alvy Singer, a TV comic) asks Keaton if she's free at the weekend, and when she's available both Friday and Saturday, he asks her what's wrong with her, does she have plague.

There are cameos from a very young-looking Christopher Walken and Jeff Goldblum. Walken tells a weird story about wanting to swerve into oncoming cars. Allen replies: "Right. Well, I have to - I have to go now, Duane, because I, I'm due back on the planet Earth." The next scene Walken is driving Allen and Keaton home.

Nugget: enjoyed this much more the second time round.

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