A scene from Annie Hall

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Annie Hall

Annie Hall is a 1977 romantic comedy film directed by Woody Allen from a script he co-wrote with Marshall Brickman. Allen's working title for the film was Anhedonia, but this was considered unmarketable. more...

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Brickman's suggested alternative, It Had to Be Jew, was considered even less marketable, and ultimately Annie Hall was settled upon as the release title. Because of biographical similarities with Alvy, including Allen's previous relationship with Keaton (real name Diane Hall), Annie Hall has been widely assumed to be semi-autobiographical, but Allen has denied this.

Plot

The film is set in New York City and Los Angeles.

Allen plays Alvy Singer, a comedian obsessed with death, attempting to maintain a relationship with the ditzy title character (played by Diane Keaton), who loves life.

Alvy Singer grew up in Brooklyn. His father operated a bumper cars concession. He claims the family home was located below a roller coaster on Coney Island.

Film technique

The film makes use of various techniques such as split-screen imagery, double exposure, breaks in character to address the camera directly (breaking the "fourth wall"), and elements of magic realism. For instance, Allen's character, standing in a cinema queue with Annie Hall and listening to someone behind him expound on Marshall McLuhan's work, leaves the line to speak to the camera directly. The man comes to speak to the camera in his defense, and Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) resolves the dispute by pulling McLuhan himself from behind a counter to tell the man that his interpretation is wrong.

Another scene is animated, featuring a cartoon Allen and the Witch from Snow White

Awards

The film won the following Academy Awards:

  • Best Actress in a Leading Role - Diane Keaton
  • Best Director - Woody Allen
  • Best Picture - Charles H. Joffe
  • Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen - Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman

It was also nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role - Woody Allen.

The film is consistently in the top 100 on the Internet Movie Database's list of top 250 films, and has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. Zagat Survey Movie Guide (2002) ranks Annie Hall one of the top ten comedies of all time, one of the top ten movies of the 1970s and as Allen's best film as a director. In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted it the forty-second greatest comedy film of all time.

Influence

Annie Hall is a benchmark for modern romantic comedies, with a large influence over future films. In fashion, Keaton dressed in layers with a tie (by Ralph Lauren), which became a popular style. This movie was also Christopher Walken's first notable performance as Annie's strange and suicidally fixated brother. It brought the actor and his unusual qualities to the attention of the mainstream viewing public.

Read more at Wikipedia.org


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