I love the Academy Awards and last year I realized how few of the “Best Picture” winners I’d actually seen. So I made it a goal to see all 83 winners and blog my thoughts about them along the way.

Why did it win? Should another movie have won instead? Has it become a beloved classic or do many of you not even recognize the title? I invite you, my friends and guests, to comment along with me. Do you agree/disagree? I should be fair and place a SPOLIER ALERT on this blog since I’ll be writing about various parts of the movie. So read at your own risk…

I have often told people that I have movie amnesia… I can see a movie and forget all about it years later. So for that reason, I am re-watching the 27 I’ve seen before. That said, if no one visits or reads my blog and I basically perform the online equivalent of talking to a brick wall, that’s fine; if for nothing else, it’ll be my own reminder. Enjoy!

And the Oscar goes to…


Friday, April 1, 2011

Annie Hall, 1977











Rated PG

Happy Golden Anniversary Academy Awards! This year’s Best Picture went to director/writer/actor Woody Allen’s semi-autobiographical “Annie Hall”. This movie is a light romantic-comedy which is very rare among winners of this award. I can’t say that I’m a big fan of Woody Allen. I’m sure most would agree he’s kind of a cooky character. Having said that, I guess I haven’t really given him a chance. This is only my second Allen film; I’ve also seen “Vicky Christina Barcelona” (and enjoyed it alright). I enjoyed this one too, alright.

The story is about the totally neurotic Jewish New York comedian, Alvy Singer (Woody Allen). He falls in (and out and in and out of) love with the insecure “singer”, Annie Hall (Diane Keaton). The movie has a documentary/narrative-type structure which was a breakthrough style at this time (and became something Allen referred back to several other times). It reminded me of the first season of “Sex and the City” when Carrie turns to the camera to explain things to the viewers (without anyone else in the shot aware). Many flashbacks to Singer’s childhood or previous relationships helped you to further understand his neuroses.

Woody Allen is the king of one-liners (that usually end with a question mark). There were quite a few times I laughed out loud (while sitting by myself). I can’t say I was a huge fan of his character though (or should I say, him, since it’s semi-autobiographical?) I think he was acting more like a woman than I do with the constant talking, questioning, and over-analyzing. Sometimes I just wanted to slap him… which then had me apropos over-analyze myself. Touché Allen!

This movie is full of big-name actors (evident in its movie poster), some in very small roles: Shelley Duvall, Jeff Goldblum (he had one line!), and Christopher Walken, among others. I even recognized the woman who plays Marilla Cuthbert in “Anne of Green Gables” as Annie’s mother.

I’m not sure why the movie was titled, “Annie Hall”. Obviously, I understand that she was the lead actress and Alvy’s main love interest; but since the story revolved around him, why couldn’t it be named, “Alvy Singer”? She DID dictate fashion for some years after the movie came out… Anyway, this movie was up against “The Goodbye Girl”, “Julia”, “Star Wars”, and “The Turning Point”. Yep, read that short list of nominees again… I would have put my money on one obvious winner that year. Apparently, others were surprised as well that the major blockbuster hit and highest grossing film that year did not take home the coveted award. I’m still looking for a good explanation. Looking at the other pictures that came out that year, I think there may have been a couple of other snubs for nominations: “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “Saturday Night Fever”.

Woody Allen won for Best Director but not Best Actor, which supposedly was a big shock. He didn’t even attend the award ceremony though, so I think he was a little nonchalant about it all. In fact, he’s only shown up once to the Awards ceremony and that was to talk about his affection for New York after 9/11.

FAVORITE SCENES:

I didn’t really have a favorite scene in this movie, but there was one that I thought was particularly funny. It’s a split-scene with both Annie Hall and Alvy Singer on their respective shrink’s couches. Their psychiatrists ask, “Do you have sex often?” He responds with “Hardly Ever! Maybe 3 times a week” and she replies with, “Constantly! I’d say like 3 times a week”. Yep, sounds about right.



I also thought this line was cute: “Love is too weak a word for what I feel - I luuurve you, I loave you, I luff you, two F's.” It even found its way onto a poster I found online…


LESSON LEARNED:

Every couple’s relationship has its ups and downs. It’s not proper etiquette to air one’s dirty laundry, so most couples won’t let you know when they’re in a tough spot. Some may, however, if they need support or guidance from good friends. Along the same lines, I believe it’s not healthy to compare yourselves to other couples; what “works” for some, may not work for others.

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