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TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 13, 2011
Quite simply one of the best films
about romantic relationships ever made. Brilliantly written.
Brilliantly acted -- Diane Keaton is tremendous, the supporting cast is
full of gems and Allen himself takes the leap to present himself as a
real (if funny) human being and not a walking joke. And brilliantly
photographed by the great Gordon Willis of 'The Godfather' and many of
most important films of the 70s and 80s.

Wildly funny and ultimately heartbreaking. It's hard to imagine anyone
who has ever been in love, or struggled through grown-up relationships
NOT identifying with a lot of this film. I loved it in my late teens
when it first came out, and I love it even more 32 years later. Every
time I see it I notice different details, depending on my own current
life experiences. A film of enormous wit, humor, invention, and
understanding of the human heart. Its completely unique, playful and
idiosyncratic in style and approach, but that experimentation somehow
only makes it more accessible and universal. If you haven't seen it,
you owe yourself a try, even if you're not a Woody Allen 'fan'. And if
you saw it long ago, it may be time for another look.

And while the new blu-ray isn't quite reference quality (probably
due to the age and condition of the source materials) it does
look very, very good. A considerable step up from the DVD,
and very much worth it if you love the film. There's more
depth, sharpness, richness. More immediacy. Of course, some
things never change, and there are still no extras (sigh...)
but worth the up-grade none-the-less.
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on September 15, 2009
There is no substitute for incredible dialogue and genuine insight into the human fabric. Annie Hall is and always will be the "classic" of romantic comedies. Diane Keaton is Annie Hall, it is the role of a lifetime, and an outstanding performance to boot.
If you enjoy listening as well as watching a movie, you come back again and again to Woody's best film ever.
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on February 2, 2001
I really did try to watch "Annie Hall" with an open mind. I watched it because it was on the AFI's list of the greatest 100 films, and I'm trying to watch all of them. When the list was first released, I had seen 57 of the films. Now, I'm up to 77. I have found some real gems while watching these films. "All About Eve," "The Apartment," and "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" are all marvelous films that I've watched recently. Then I got "Annie Hall."
I guess I've always resisted watching this movie because it was awarded the Oscar for Best Picture over "Star Wars." That, and I really don't like Woody Allen. I'd seen "Sleeper" several years ago, and I thought it was mildly amusing. There were a few chuckles in "Annie Hall," but the only time I really laughed was when Allen sneezed $2000 worth of cocaine into the air at a party.
The plot of the film is almost non-existant, but this is really a character-driven film anyway. The only problem with this is that I really didn't identify with any of the characters. Not only that, but I didn't like them. Allen's character is just a neurotic, self-centered mess, and Annie Hall is irritatingly dim-witted. She just goes whichever way the wind blows her.
Another reviewer here remarked that this film was 2 and half hours. It is actually just a little over one and a half hours; it only seems like 2 and a half. The best thing I could say about it it that I was glad when it was over so that I could say I had watched the whole thing.
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on May 5, 2000
Woody Allen's ANNIE HALL is a small miracle. It is a hilarious comedy, a bittersweet tale of loss, and an opinionated glance at American culture through Woody's unique lens.
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, this is both the last of Allen's light films and the first of his serious ones. Many of Allen's films come across like plays on film, but this is full of cinematoc tricks. Split screens, direct-to-camera monolouges, an animated sequence, and a hilarious scene where subtitles say what the characters are thinking but not saying make this a one-of-a-kind comedy.
Allen's West coast/East coast structure remind me of F.Scott Fitzgerald's THE GREAT GATSBY in the way that it suggests that New Yorkers, Mid-Westerners, and Westerners are inherently products of their culture and goegraphic locaton, and hence they are all doomed to unhappiness in any location but their own. It is an important cultural document.
There are Allen's usual barrage of one-liners ("everything our mothers said was good for us isn't -- red meat, milk, sunshine, college . . .") and "high" cultural references to Beckett, Fellini, Capote, James, and a host of others. In a lot of ways, it is the prototypical Allen film, and yet I hesitate to say that because that makes it seem like one of many, and not the unique masterpiece that it is.
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on February 24, 2001
I have only recently been initiated into the Woody Allen movie world. I love listening to him... sometimes he is neurotic and tends to go on and on and on, but sometimes he reminds me of myself. I get so annoyed so often with the littlest things that I can really relate to some of his tirades. For example, in Annie Hall, when he and Diane Keaton are standing in line at the cinema, he gets so frustrated and annoyed with the man behind him in line that he cannot stop talking about it and obsessing about it. This is so like me it is unbelievable. I suspect a lot of people must feel similar feelings... maybe to a lesser degree... otherwise Allen's sense of humour would not be as widely appreciated as it is. Also of note is Allen's intelligent sense of humour. He makes references to people, things, places, that are not common knowledge... but should be. And you really have to know a little bit about everything to understand all his references. I don't even think it is intentional in his movies. You either get it or you don't. I love it.
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on December 22, 2000
What was it with the years 1967 and 1977? Two of the supposed "brilliant" films of that time were very mediocre. I'm talking about, of course, Annie Hall and The Graduate. They were very similar, in as much as both were about two completely self-centered, dull people and whether or not they would get together. But where The Graduate had Anne Bancroft to add some value to the film, Annie Hall has only a few sparse slightly clever scenes. The flashback scene to Woody's childhood, with an adult Woody and Diane watching comes to mind. But, by the time I got through this 2+ hour snoozer, anything mildly amusing was a far distant memory. In my opinion, Woody's humor only works well in light comedies. Play It Again Sam, Manhattan Murder Mystery, and, most recently, Small Time Crooks were A+ entertainment. Anytime Woody does drama, he just seems extremely annoying. Maybe I just haven't seen the correct Allen drama yet. But after this Annie Hall disaster, I doubt I'll try another one.
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on April 23, 2002
A true work of genius. Even by Allen's own standards, this movie is a classic. So few films have Maximum Initial Impact, in that they fail to deliver maximum enjoyment on one's first viewing.
While Annie Hall certainly bears considerable repeated viewing, it is simply stunning first time through. Apart from the brilliant dialogue and character depth, it contains so many all-too-human touches. I loved the part on the first date when he asks Annie if he can kiss her before they start, just to take away the tension of will-they won't-they kiss, so that they may more easily relax and enjoy their first time out.
As a fairly linear romantic comedy, it is unsurpassed, yet there are also many surrealistic elements which give it a quality that one usually associates with European movies.
Woody Allen shoehorned so many brilliant and original ideas into Annie Hall that it is staggering to recall that they were all from the same movie. Everything from the Jew-hating grandmother to the kids in his class telling the camera what they ended up as in adult life, serve to keep you off balance, so that you never slide into a "well I can see what's coming up next" state of complacency.
Allen is a master when it comes to relationships and human failings (and strengths) and his hilarious handling of sexual interactions - "I'm just trying to work some circulation back into my jaw" - makes this one of those rare movies in which virtually everybody can find something to make you squirm and say, "Oh man, he's right".
Annie Hall is classy, it's beautiful, it is full of love, wisdom and compassion, and above all it is utterly hilarious. A breathtaking work of genius (repetition on "genius", there) from a man who has no equal in the film industry.
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on January 16, 2000
I always liked Woody Allen's ensemble films better than the ones in which he is the main star. Annie Hall which has a large cast but essentially lingers on Allen's relationship with Annie(Diane Keaton) till the very end is a sweet if structureless film. Through many episodic stretches we are treated to many hilarious jokes and innovative techniques, such as consulting people on the street for their opinion etc..., but the movie also has a real heart, especially in the final scenes, we see Woody being rejcted after having flown thousands of miles from N.Y.(beloved) to L.A.(detested)to ask Annie back. I think Annie Hall was showered with praise because it was the first Allen film to show real feelings behind the shtick, but in retrospect it is nowhere near his best film.Like the wildly overpraised Manhatten(3 stars), it has the advantage of having come first. Without a doubt the best Allen film is a three way tie:Husbands and Wives (energy),Hannah and Her Sisters (Just Perfect) and Crimes and Misdemeanours(Sadness), all which have Woody as part of a large ensemble telling more than one story and all ofcourse 5 star stuff.
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on November 21, 2003
Diane Keaton is an Academy-Award winning wonder as the title character Annie Hall. Woody Allen dissects his relationship with this extraordinary woman in this film that uses a lot of sight gags and even animation at one point of a neurotic New York divorcee daing a Wisconsin transplant.
First of all, having only seen Diane Keaton's work in the late 1980s and 90s, I had no idea that she was so hot when she was younger. She makes men want to date her and women want to be her. Her acting as the natural Annie who dresses in menswear, drives a VW bug badly, and does pot and coke is amazing.
Woody Allen is funny as well as the older finicky Alvy Singer. He does not want to do pot and coke nor does he want Annie to. It is hilarious when he sneezes on the tray of coke and clows the white powder everywhere.
I highly recommend this film to everyone, all ages and all walks of life. Watch it and you will know why "we need the eggs".
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on August 23, 2000
This was the film that made me want to work in the movie business. Great, yet offbeat non-Hollywood like script, and charming Diane Keaton, help make this one of the best motion pictures of all time. Woody, as always, playing the 40ish, Jewish, neurotic... but he does it so well!
Tony Roberts, Carol Kane, Shelley Duval, Christopher Walken and even Paul Simon, are all terrific in this story about two people growing apart.
Flawless editing by Ralph Rosenblum. This genius really helped create the structure of the film to make it the polished gem that it is. (The hilarious "cocaine" scene was constructed simply because the audience needed to know that Allen/Keaton were going to the California.)
I was so happy when it won all the Oscars that it did, despite what a lot of other folks thought. Witty as hell and as American as apple pie... well, maybe with a Matzoh crust!
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