Monday, July 30, 2012

Best Picture Project 12, Annie Hall

Best Picture Project is back! I know we have been slacking big time on this project. We promise to get down to it. It sure is hard to type with my fingers crossed...

Annie Hall, 1977

The Wife: I initially was slightly concerned that Annie Hall would be too dated to have the comedic appeal it carried during its 1970s release. However, all of these concerns were erased within the first few minutes of the film. Woody Allen really is the movie genius that he is labeled to be. Even in 2012, Annie Hall was still a hilarious, fun and insightful film to watch.

The movie, which stars Allen, as well as one of my favorite actresses, Diane Keaton, is set in New York City. Annie Hall centers around the characters of Alvy Singer (Allen) and Annie (Keaton). It focuses on the journey of the pair’s relationship, and through great acting and comedic elements, outlines the up’s and down’s that the two encounter. There is emotion within the film, but it is nicely balanced with laughter and to an extent, sarcasm. Both characters have their flaws and “big personalities,” which all contribute to the scope of their relationship. While the movie’s end might leave a sour taste in some people’s mouths, it really worked for Annie Hall. My hopeless romantic side was left with an “aawww bummer” feeling but my realism side was left feeling satisfied with the film’s conclusion.

Annie Hall is probably one of the few if only “romantic comedies” to win Best Picture. This is probably due to the film’s unconventional ending as well as Allen’s creativity, which works to separate it and puts it miles above traditional romantic comedies in terms of quality. As a fashion lover, I can’t go without commenting on Keaton’s wardrobe for the film. The men’s ties and hats really did inspire a new style during the 70s. My mother even told me that she remembered many women trying to emulate Keaton’s Annie Hall style. You know a film leaves a dent in pop culture phenomenon when it spurs fashion trends! Overall, I would say that Annie Hall was certainly deserving of its Best Picture title. If you haven’t seen this wonderful, timeless film, then make time to do so!

Hobo Dan: I never know what to expect from these older films. Annie Hall was thankfully anything but an older film. It could have very well came out today and been just as entertaining. Actually, it is far more entertaining than a majority of romantic comedies these days. I generally dislike the genre all together because they are all the same. Guy and girl meet, have a good time and fall in love; conflict is then introduced followed by reconciliation. Rinse and repeat. Annie Hall is not the same. It isn't necessarily about the guy and the girl as it is about their impacts on each others lives. I'd put it right up there with When Harry met Sally as the best in the category (yes, I know that one kinda follows the aforementioned genre formula I profess to hate, sue me it's my blog).

This is actually my first Woody Allen film. I enjoyed it, probably because I live for sarcasm. The writing is smart and the acting is good. I get the feeling Woody Allen plays himself, but that's okay because himself is pretty entertaining.

Now, I do have to mention one of the other films nominated in 1977, the year Annie Hall won. A small indy film called Star Wars. Incidentally it is one of my favorite movies of all time; the original, I am not talking about the trilogy, or the prequels, or any subsequent special editions, cartoons, holidays specials or 3D re-releases. They are vastly different films, obviously. The original Star Wars changed film making forever. No one had ever seen anything like it in 1977. That said, I will not refute Annie Hall's claim to the Oscar. It is a wonderful film.

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