Tag: diane keaton

MOVIE REVIEW | Manhattan (1979)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: Allen has spent the majority of his long career trying to get his version of New York city onto the big screen, and none of his work does it better than this.

Manhattan 1
“He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion. Eh uh, no, make that he, he romanticized it all out of proportion.”

Woody Allen made slapstick comedies in the late 60s and early 70s. He made deadpan, Swedish inspired dramas in 80s. And he’s spent the last 30 years oscillating from beloved “returns to form” and supposed “pale imitations of his former greatness”. But in over half a century of film making, it’s amazing to me that he made what are commonly regarded has his two absolute masterpieces in such close proximity to each other. There was Annie Hall in 1977, then, just two years later, he blew everyone away even more, with Manhattan.

Struggling with writers block, the voiceover of Isaac (Allen) tries to define his love for the titular city and his place in it. Cut to the 42 year old Isaac having dinner with 17 year old, high school student and girlfriend, Tracy (Mariel Hemingway), along with best friend couple, Yale (Michael Murphy) and Connie (Karol Ludwig). When Tracy goes to the bathroom, the other middle agers at the table are quick to let Isaac know that they think dating a teenager probably isn’t a great idea. Isaac agrees, and has no good reason to stay with Tracy. He even actively tries to convince her to move on to someone closer to her own age. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Reds (1981)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “Snippets of real life people sharing their real life memories made me care more about the characters and the story more than anything between Beatty and Keaton.”

Reds 1
“Jack dreams that he can hustle the American working man, who’s one dream is that he could be rich enough not to work, into a revolution led by his party.”

In 1979, Warren Beatty was personally nominated for two Oscars for his work on Heaven Can Wait.  That’s nothing short of amazing.  What’s even more amazing, is that he backed up and did it again just a couple of years later.  But while Heaven Can Wait was well made fluff, the following year’s movie to get Beatty all of that Oscar attention was nothing less than an epic.  A passion project he’d been trying to get off the ground for almost 20 years.  The three hour biopic, Reds.

It’s 1915, and radical journalist John Reed (Beatty) is giving a lecture based on his radical ideas.  A lecture attended by rich and married socialite, Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton).  Blown away by his ideas and realising how wasteful her life has been, Louise throws it all away to be with Reed.  Once together, Louise starts to discover her own love of writing.  Together, they get deeper and deeper in politics and activism.  They also become close with playwright Eugene O’Neill (Jack Nicholson).   Close enough for Louise to have an affair with Jack.  But John convinces her that their love is too strong to be harmed by the odd infidelity, which is handy, because he’s been rooting around too. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI WEEKEND*** #35. Annie Hall (1977)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.
“I feel that life is divided into the horrible and the miserable. That’s the two categories. The horrible are like, I don’t know, terminal cases, you know, and blind people, crippled. I don’t know how they get through life. It’s amazing to me. And the miserable is everyone else. So you should be thankful that you’re miserable, because that’s very lucky, to be miserable.”

When Woody Allen entered the film making world, he was already a successful stand comic and talk show guest.  So kicking off his career with a string of zany, goofball comedies probably seemed like no surprise.  These days, a new Woody Allen movie can swing anywhere between zany comedy, art house experiment, dark thriller, rich character study and a million other things in between.  But in the mid 70s, the first sign of that evolution from zany, goofball comedies to his wildly swinging approach to story and film making began, with Annie Hall.

Alvy Singer is the kind of Woody Allen character that people think of when they think of a Woody Allen character.  He’s stutteringly neurotic, and overthinking every aspect of his life.  Including his relationship with the titular Annie (Diane Keaton).  Addressing the camera, Alvy lets us know that this is the story of how he and Annie got together.  But it’s also the story of how they drifted apart.  From the get go, we know they won’t live happily ever after. (more…)