“You know, even as a kid, I always went for the wrong women. I think that’s my problem. When my mother took me to see ‘Snow White’, everyone fell in love with Snow white. I immediately fell for the Wicked Queen.” – Alvy Singer
Partly autobiographical and partly product of Woody Allen’s wise crack head, ‘Annie Hall’ is a mental and physical journey of stand up comedian & twice divorced Alvy Singer. He takes us to the various episodes of his life, focusing on romance and break up with beautiful Annie Hall. They parted, settled in different cities and careers and love to meet occasionally once in a while even after their parted ways.
What is special about this great Woody Allen acted, scripted, directed film is its wonderful treatment of modern day unsettling romance & uncommitted relationship in totally top-notch humor; dark, sarcastic and funny at the same time. Absurdity of life, relations and love never seems as funny and philosophical like this. Allen’s brilliant non linear narration with monologues, often breaking into others lives, sneaking and commenting on camera addressing directly the audience punctures the narration with his intellectual, pessimistic, witty and philosophical currents constantly. Diane Keaton & Woody Allen’s amazing on and off screen chemistry is the reason why it looks so natural and spontaneous in each frame of the film.
During one of the scene at the book store, he suggested books about death to his girlfriend & said, “I’m obsessed with death, I think it’s a big subject & I’ve pessimistic view of life. I feel that life is divided into horrible and miserable…two categories. The horrible would be like terminal cases, blind people and cripples. I don’t know how they get through life…and the miserable is everyone else. So when you go through life, be thankful that you’re miserable.” It’s classy Woody Allen moment. There are so many such moments throughout the film. Watch the scene where he first meet Annie after the tennis match or when he proposed her ‘I lurve you’ or making love to smoke obsessed Annie in the bed or even that surprising ‘spider in the bathroom’ scene. It’s brilliant in all scenes. Even the ending one where he conveyed wonderful message about struggling modern day relationship between inner desire and actuality of it.
The film was nominated in five Oscars and won in four as Best Film, Best Actress with Woody Allen winning two- Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. It was no ordinary feat for Woody Allen nominated for directing, writing and acting for the same film. Before him only Orson Welles had been nominated for three Oscars for same film ‘Citizen Kane’ and ended up winning one for Best screenplay. But Woody is Woody, when his name was announced as winner at Oscar ceremony, he was playing clarinet in local New York pub.
And that’s what sums it up the thing he constantly said in the film paraphrasing Groucho Marx, “I never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member.” It’s not only the key joke but wonderful life quote fits to any modern day intellectual romantics.