Wednesday, 11 May 2011

AFI 100 Movies #31 Annie Hall (1977)

And so to the film that started this whole exercise: Woody Allen's "Annie Hall".

I bought this as part of a boxset shortly after returning home from a wonderful holiday in New York City.

Allen plays the part of Alvy Singer, and the film centres around his rocky relationship with the eponymous Annie (Diane Keaton).

Alvy is a neurotic, a trait which Woody Allen imbues his characters with on a regular basis. Alvy often breaks the "fourth wall" and addresses the audience directly which provides some great moments.

One of the best examples of this is a scene where he and Annie are standing in a queue waiting to see a film by Marshall McLuhan, and the guy standing behind Alvy is driving him crazy by very loudly coming out with pseudo intellectual criticism of McLuhan's work. So much so that he gets in to an argument with him and when the guy refuses to accept his opinion is wrong, Alvy walks over and reaches behind an advertising poster board and emerges with Marshall McLuhan himself in tow to tell the annoying nerd that he doesn't have a clue what he's talking about.

There are a whole host of big names among the cast list, some of whom only have small roles, including Paul Simon, Jeff Goldblum, Truman Capote & Sigourney Weaver to name a few.

The film examines the complexities of relationships as Alvy and Annie come to realise that although they have feelings for each other they know that they will be happier apart.

So, quite a bittersweet experience, with plenty of laughs and some solid acting.

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