I had waited a long time to watch Annie Hall, I finally managed to watch it this weekend. What a movie! I have been a fan of Woody Allen movies since quite a while, of his recent movies I loved Match Point and Vicky Cristina Barcelona (no one casts Scarlett Johansson better than Woody Allen). Off late I have started to watch some of his initial movies and after watching and loving 'Bananas' and 'Everything you always wanted to know about sex but were too afraid to ask', I finally saw Annie Hall.
While Bananas and Everything... were random movies filled with non-stop gags, both had elements of awesome skill in terms of using new techniques and amazing dialogue. Annie Hall however is a more complete film, there is a proper story and well defined characters.
The story is about a neurotic comedian in New York called Alvy Singer, played by Woody Allen and his relationship with Annie Hall, played by Diane Keaton. The story revolves around the two of them and how their relationship pans out. Throughout the movie, we have amazing innovations in terms of cinematic technique, like breaking down the 'fourth wall' [where Woody Allen starts directly talking to the audience], split screens etc. These have been replicated in several movies but this particular movie uses it to awesome effect.
Another brilliant scene is the one where Annie invites Alvy to meet her family, here he has a conversation with her insane brother Duane, played by Christopher Walken.
Duane: Can I confess something? I tell you this as an artist, I think you'll understand. Sometimes when I'm driving... on the road at night... I see two headlights coming toward me. Fast. I have this sudden impulse to turn the wheel quickly, head-on into the oncoming car. I can anticipate the explosion. The sound of shattering glass. The... flames rising out of the flowing gasoline.
Alvy Singer: Right. Well, I have to - I have to go now, Duane, because I, I'm due back on the planet Earth.
The movie was a rage at the box office when it released, made at a modest budget of $4 million, it went on to gross nearly $40 million. It won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actress [Diane Keaton], Best Director and Best Writer for Woody Allen. It was one of the rare comedy movies to win the Best Picture Oscar.
I will try to watch as many Woody Allen movies as I can asap. Meanwhile if you haven't seen any of his movies please do so. They are witty, dry, hilarious and entertaining movies to watch.