My current Top 5

My current Top 5

6/16/2011

Number 13: Annie Hall (Best Picture Ranking)

I did not care very much for Annie Hall the first few times I saw it – especially Woody Allen’s annoying Alvy Singer always made me want to throw something at my TV. I think that, just like it was the case with The Apartment, I needed more time to fully appreciate this little romantic comedy.

It’s such a joyous, crazy and neurotic look at love and happiness, filled with what seems to be a ‘sitcom-style’ but is somehow so much more. Woody Allen’s direction sometimes seems to me like the direction of an overeager student who tries to put as many new and original things into his films as possible, but it helps that he both wrote and starred in the movie and so perfectly knew what would work and what wouldn’t. Annie Hall is all we would expect from Woody Allen and even more.

Woody Allen’s Alvy Singer still isn’t exactly my kind of favourite movie character but somehow I am beginning to understand him more and more. Sure, only Woody Allen would cast himself in a role that has women falling for him all the time (seriously…) but I can forgive him because he turned Alvy into such a neurotic mess at the same time. His constant way of talking down to people (the guys in front of the cinema, the guy standing in line) always rubs me a little bit the wrong way but I think Woody Allen makes us see Alvy like Annie begins to see him after a while. We know he isn’t perfect and even though they are absolutely adorable together we also must agree in the end that she is better off without him.

In the title role, Diane Keaton is easily the most praiseworthy aspect of a movie full of them. Her Annie is one of the most original creations in movie history – she’s charming, funny, a little dizzy and crazy but also very realistic and constantly growing as a human being. Certainly the best performance in a Woody-Allen-movie ever.

Annie Hall is not a hymn to love but instead presents it as something difficult, something that needs work and can’t be explained. It’s not romantic but rather a combination of intelligent observations and funny situation-comedy.

Overall, a movie that grows – it doesn’t really show all its magic and wisdom at a first sight but rather develops itself with time. A true winner!

8 comments:

hey deanie said...

Definitely my no. 1.

Louis Morgan said...

I like it but do not love it. I certianly like it much more than American Beauty though(yeah I know I am getting repetitive about that).

Anonymous said...

Well, based on the review I don't know why it's this high, I think the reviews for The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Silence of the Lambs or Shakespeare in Love gave more praise to the films and it actually seemed like you really thought they were great, but here it seems like you thought this was just very good and yet it's number 13. It's definitely one of my least favorite winners and looking at it objectively I still don't feel it's better than most of the other winners, I think it just lacks a lot of things and I need more than a brilliant screenplay to actually say a film is wonderful, maybe if I make a blog as great as yours someday I will explain my views on this film.

Fritz said...

@Anonymous: Well, my reviews are only little write-ups about the movies so maybe some of them sound more enthusiastic than others because I didn't express myself clearly enough. I know that Annie Hall has a lot of opponents and I used to be one of them but my opinion has just changed.

dinasztie said...

I agree with heydeanie. I'm really mad, though that The English Patient and LOTR are going to be higher. I hate those ones but it's not my ranking.

Still #13 is very high and I'm glad you like this movie.

Fritz said...

Well, you have to look at it this way: There are 27 movies I would have loved to put in my Top 10 in this ranking but unfortunately only 10 can be...

Anthony said...

I have to agree that I never cared for Woody Allen as a kid (though I never hated him in his films), but in the past few years, my appreciation for him and his films has grown very rapidly. I would rank "Annie Hall" among his top 5 and think it is among his most honest and personal of works. A superb effort and ranked at a wonderful place. I wouldn't rank it any lower than this either.

Fritz said...

Hello Anthony! Thanks a lot for all your comments!