HANNAH and Her SISTERS
The burgeoning Woody blossoms in this triple Oscar winning, 1984 comedic drama of an artsy fartsy family living on Manhattan's Upper West Side and talking out their existential yuppie conflicts. Woody writes about what he knows best --- himself --- and loves best --- Manhattan.
He casts himself as the spermatogenically challenged husband of real life pal, Mia Farrow playing Hannah, going from religion to religion in his hypochondriacal angst of impending mortality.
Woody divorced Hannah, leaving her with a donor's kids. Hannah marries Michael Caine as Elliot. While loving Hannah with terminal tenacity, Elliot falls head over heels in lust for her youngest sister, Lee, played by Barbara Hershey, who is living with cerebral graphic artist and father-figure, Max von Sydow. With her credit card maintained by Hannah, middle sister Holly, played by Dianne Wiest, is called to vocation to vocation in search of herself. As Hannah's parents, Lloyd Nolan and Maureen O'Sullivan lament falling short of their life goals. Only soap is missing.
In satisfying resolutions typical of classic comedy, Woody marries Holly and finds his paternity, Elliot finds his wife, and Lee finds an unencumbered lover. The intimate vignettes are worth watching for Woody's witty dialogue and inimitable subtextual interplay.
HANNAH will be appreciated best by fans who have followed Woody's life and loves from WHAT'S NEW, PUSSYCAT and WHAT'S UP, TIGER LILY through SLEEPER and LOVE AND DEATH, to Oscar-winning ANNIE HALL, MANHATTAN, and his current European city series set in Barcelona with Scarlett Johansson, and Paris.
The French and Spanish dubbings are lively, but not translated literally in the subtitles; are they ever? Missing from this heavily discounted AMAZON disc are special features that should be included with developing genius; look in DVD listings for a 2-disc biography of Allen.