Don’t you see the rest of the country looks upon New York like we’re left-wing, communist, Jewish, homosexual pornographers? I think of us that way sometimes and I live here.
— Alvy Singer
I was psyched Woody Allen’s movie, Annie Hall was coming IFC that I set a reminder to watch it. Being familiar with Allen’s movies, I would have expected some random dialogue and meandering situations. That’s correct for the most part, but this film is so much more. This #132 Movie of All-Time on IMDb was nominated for five Oscars and it won four including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Original Screenplay.
This movie is about a pessimistic comic, Alvy Singer (Allen) recounting the relationship he had between himself and an aspiring singer, Annie Hall (Diane Keaton). Alvy’s problem is that his paranoid man that has delusions of grandeur. He treats the people around him like shit, because he is the only sane person, even though he has been seeing an analyst for most of his life.
Alvy and Annie meet when Alvy’s actor friend from Hollywood, Rob (Tony Roberts) introduces them during a spirited match of tennis. They bond over their eccentricities, the mundane of life and seeing analysts.
Whenever there is a conflict with Annie or their families, Alvy turns to the camera to offer his commentary about the situations. He deconstructs every flaw about a person and blows it out of proposition.
As they go deeper into their relationship, Annie feels that Alvy tries to mold her into something that she is not like forcing adult education courses upon her, taking her to an obscure foreign language movie or the condescending tone in his voice whenever they are waxing philosophic.
The relationship starts to wane that they are not having sex. They are going into a funk and they have to decide if they should stay together or break apart.
This movie was charming from start to finish. I love it when Alvy and Annie were having drinks on the roof of her building. They pontificate about some random topic and a bunch of subtitles pop showing the audience what they are really thinking. It reminded me of a particular scene in (500) Days of Summer.
The only flaw about the movie was the sequences in Los Angeles. It rang false to me. It was like a stereotypical take on Los Angeles that you have seen repeatedly. The hippies eating alfalfa spouts and drinking wheat grass or whatever.
Judgment: This is a great ode to relationships.
Here is another movie that have been nominated for 4 Golden Globes recently. Best Actor for Javier Bardem, Best Actress for Rebecca Hall, Best Supporting Actress for Penélope Cruz and Best Picture – Comedy.
This is a movie that I actually liked. It was showing at one movie theater here in Houston. I saw the movie yesterday.
This movies is the latest Woody Allen movie in European tour after he abandoned his beloved New York City behind a couple of years ago. After I was disappointed with his latest efforts, I was surprised that I loved this film. I heard that Allen was offered some money from the Spanish government to film a movie there. Here Vicky Cristina Barcelona is born.
The movie is about a pair of friends, Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) visiting Barcelona for a couple of months. Vicky is a timid college student that is studying the Catalan culture of Spain. She is engaged to Doug (Chris Messina) that is working in New York. Cristina is free-spirited woman that does not want to led a boring life. She is trying to find herself and passion for something more in life.
They stay in the house of Vicky’s distant relative, Judy Nash (Patricia Clarkson) and her husband, Mark(Kevin Dunn).
One night when they are out at an art gallery, they meet a broodingly handsome painter, Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem). Cristina is immediately attracted to him. Out to dinner, they run into Juan Antonio, who blatantly propositions them to a threesome at his house in Oviedo. Vicky brutally rebuffs him, but Cristina is gung-ho about bedding down a total stranger.
Eventually, romantic entanglements occur between Vicky and Juan Antonio, Cristina and Juan Antonio and also between Cristina, Juan Antonio and his spitfire ex-wife, Maria Elena (Penélope Cruz).
Everybody was salivating with the kiss between Cristina and Maria Elena. It was very sweet. Nothing sexual.
During the course of the film, the personalities between Cristina and Vicky switch. Cristina wants to be in a monogamous relationship with Juan Antonio, but Maria Elena is a complication in the matter. Vicky takes a chance at being reckless with her relationship toward Juan Antonio and her engagement to Doug.
I liked this movie better than “Scoop” or “Cassandra’s Dream.” It was on par with “Match Point.” The scenery was wonderful. It reminded me of the time when I visited Spain over a decade ago. Fond memories.
I will say that I have a problem with the narration by Christopher Evan Welch. It does not need to be in this movie. I think it was very lazy in that respect. Why can’t we have silence? Contemplation? I wanted to have that period to reflect the action of action. I don’t need everything being spelled out to me.
Lastly, I think that Woody Allen did a disservice for the Spanish characters in this movie. The male as the stereotypical Latin lover/Lothario character and the female as the spitfire. Really, Woody? We have seen these archetypes again and again.
My rating: ***1/2 stars.