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Hannah and Her Sisters (Widescreen)

Woody Allen , Mia Farrow    PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
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Considered by many to be Woody Allen's best film, even over Annie Hall. Hannah and Her Sisters follows a multitude of characters: Hannah (Mia Farrow), who plays den mother to her extended family; her sister Lee (Barbara Hershey), emotional and a bit of a flake, who's involved with a much older artist (Max Von Sydow), who treats her like a child; and Hannah's other sister, Holly (Dianne Wiest), a neurotic who feels incapable of managing her life. Hannah's husband Elliot (Michael Caine) falls in love with Lee, which sets off a series of upheavals. Allen gives one of his best performances as Hannah's ex-husband Mickey, who--much like Allen himself--is obsessed with death and unhappiness. But a simple summary doesn't begin to capture the warmth and intimacy of this movie; though the story follows a capsizing family, the outcome is surprising, joyous, and richly human. --Bret Fetzer

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
A wonderful mix of moving and funny, thought provoking and silly. There's amazing acting all around from the first rate ensemble cast including Diane Wiest, Michael Caine (both of whom deservedly won Oscars), Max Von Sydow, Allen, Mia Farrow, Barbara Hershey etc.

(Mild spoiler) It features a rare movie happy ending that's actually earned!

This is probably the closest to 'Annie Hall' of all Woody Allen films in the mix of wit, technical proficiency, sophisticated stoty-telling, acting, emotion, etc. He takes a bevy of characters and creates a complex heartfelt portrait of family, lovers, friends, and artists that's funny but with insightful bite. A rare film that acknowledges how wonderful life is, without denying how hard it can be at the same time. Or at least how hard we find ways to make it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richly Human July 13 2004
Format:DVD
This is a great story about how confusing human relationships can be and how people try to deal with the cards they are dealt in life. It's creative and witty, and don't forget smart!
One of WA's best films ever!
Also recommended: "Take the Money and Run"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Woody At His Best July 6 2004
By J
Format:DVD
Both Manhattan and Annie Hall are better movies but nothing beats Hannah for sheer excellence in exploring the mess that is the human heart and mind. Poignant, funny, quirky, and smart as hell. Caine, Farrow, Wiest and all the others deliver perfect performances. This is vintage Allen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film, terrible DVD transfer Nov. 12 2001
By A Customer
Format:DVD
This is a wonderful film. All the films in the new Woody Allen boxset are wonderful films. But am I just imagining things? I just watched "Hannah and Her Sisters" and I was amazed at how washed-out it looked. Take a look at the very first scene -- it's far too light, Barbara Hershey looks sick, the warmth of the original film is gone. The video transfer was far superior, unless my memory is playing tricks on me. Has anyone else noticed this?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sisters Acts June 25 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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.

TP
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5.0 out of 5 stars one of my favorites. Feb. 14 2013
By Pat J.
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I love this movie. I have watched it a number of times. I am a fan of character movies and Woody does that well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Allen July 3 2004
Format:DVD
Woody Allen has never made a movie appreciably better than 'Hannah.' It may not be his single best (an honor I reserve for 'Manhattan'), but it's on the shortest of short lists.
My favorite moment in the movie, and maybe Allen's most insightful ever, is when neurotic Mickey (played by Allen) bursts out of the hospital, having just learned that he is cancer-free. He leaps and bounds down the street, joy overflowing, until, suddenly, he stops, paralyzed with a newly imagined anxiety. Yes, Mickey was delievered from cancer, but he wasn't delivered from himself. You could look long and hard and never discover another ten seconds of filmmaking that better capture what it means to be human. Life's vicissitudes alternately beat us down and lift us up, but in the end, we always revert to ourselves.
When Woody Allen is at his best, you can't help but feel he's writing about *your* life, or something very close to it. Who hasn't experienced Holly's rejection in romance, Frederick's anguish and regret over squandering a relationship, Elliot's clumsy giddiness as he falls in love, Mickey's obsessive anxiety about death? There's a recognizable moment from my experience in almost every scene.
'Hannah and Her Sisters' also boasts Allen's single-best-ever soundtrack. I dare you to watch this movie and not tap your foot. The soundtrack is not available on CD, so that's one more reason to crack open the DVD for the dozenth time.
If you haven't seen 'Hannah and Her Sisters,' now's the time. If you have, it can't hurt to revisit a bona-fide classic.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Woody!
Most reviewers have already done a great job critiquing one of Allen's best. I have to add this movie has one of my favorite lines in a movie...it is actually profound. Read more
Published on Jan. 6 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Nearly perfect in many ways
There is a scene near the end of this film where Hannah (Mia Farrow) and her sisters Holly (Dianne Wiest) n"Lee(Barbara Hershey) meet over lunch and the camera slowly circles... Read more
Published on Dec 4 2003 by R. J. Marsella
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing but not his best
This movie, "Annie Hall", and "Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy" are very fun to watch, cute and fluffy, but ultimately shallow. Read more
Published on July 3 2003 by Mark Cederholm
5.0 out of 5 stars "woody allen's film hits the jackpot!"
In one of woody' best film, he is able to captivate the lives of 3 totally different sisters (and a hypocondriac husband) into an oscar winning film! Read more
Published on June 22 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants
Eerily paralleling Woody Allen's defense of the indefensible (his relationship with Soon-Yi), his alter ego in this movie whispers into the neck of Dianne Wiest, "The heart is a... Read more
Published on May 16 2003 by Literary Lass
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film but more Woody would have been better
I remember first seeing this film in the theater and was only disappointed by the fact that most of the film doesn't involve Woody. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2003 by Mynameisthis
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film with Wonderful performances
Hannah is one of Woody Allen's best films. I am a big fan so it's hard to pick my favorite. This one is right up there. Read more
Published on Nov. 1 2002 by Ed Gundersen
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