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Annie Hall and Jesus

Essay by review  •  November 4, 2010  •  Essay  •  827 Words (4 Pages)  •  795 Views

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Annie Hall (1977), from director/actor/co-writer Woody Allen, is a compelling masterpiece of priceless, witty and quotable one-liners within a matured, focused and thoughtful film. It is a bittersweet romantic comedy of modern contemporary love and urban relationships that explores the interaction of past and present, and the rise and fall of Alvy Singer's (Woody Allen) own challenging, ambivalent New York romance with his opposite - an equally-insecure, shy, flighty Midwestern WASP female: Annie Hall. (Diane Keaton)

The major theme of the film is that there are severe limitations in life (death and loss are the two most prevalent), but that art forms (such as the printed word, films, and plays) have the power to reshape reality and provide some measure of control, thereby compensating for life's limitations. Though his true relationship had failed, Alvy writes a play based on his love-affair with Annie. The only difference in the play is that Annie doesn't walk away from Alvy and they live happily ever after.

Annie Hall is a series of flashbacks where Alvy tries to find the reason for his breakup with Annie. As a true disciple of Sigmeud Freud, he looks all the way back to his childhood and works his way through his entire life. As we search for Christ figure within the movie, protagonist Alvy is anything but. He is a neurotic, pessimistic who is overly obsessed with death He warns Annie about his views on life in a bookstore scene where he buys Annie two books with the word "death" in the title. Annie on the other hand, buys a glossier book entitled, "The Cat Book." This scene alone shows how unlikely their relationship was. Alvy searches for the cause of the failure of his relationship with an introspect examination of his own life. His paranoia may have been caused by the fact that he lived under the roller coaster in Coney Island, but he tends to over exaggerate his childhood memories. He constantly jokes about his own appearance, personality and sex. He never really found a true cause for the failure of his relationship. It is true however, that Annie changes through the film. She begins as a shy, uneducated female, who (with the help of Alvy) learns to be more confident and finds new aims in life. Alvy convinces her to take college courses, though Annie always insists that Alvy thinks she's "not smart enough". Alvy never really truly finds a specific cause for the breakup, but realizes that Annie had been an influence on his life. She made him think in sort of a different light, and her presence was just a joy.

Although many people do not believe that this movie should have won the 1977 Oscar for Best Picture (since it was competing against Star Wars), many critics say that the choice was obvious. Annie Hall is famous not only for his humorous screenplay, but also for its wide variety of cinematography. There are a variety of innovative strategies and narrative techniques in the film that support the contention that Woody Allen is functioning as a self-conscious artist who evaluates his entire life and

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