Annie Hall

Release and reception

Annie Hall was shown at the Los Angeles Film Festival in March 1977,[11] before its official release on 20 April 1977.[1] The film ultimately earned $38,251,425 ($143,228,400 in 2013 dollars) in the United States against a $4-million budget, making it the 11th highest-grossing picture of 1977.[1] On raw figures, it currently ranks as Allen's fourth-highest-grossing film, after Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters and Midnight in Paris; when adjusted for inflation, the gross figure makes it Allen's biggest box office hit.[56] It was first released on Blu-ray on 24 January 2012 alongside Allen's 1979 film Manhattan.[57] Both releases include the films' original theatrical trailer.[57]

Critical reviews

Annie Hall met with widespread critical acclaim upon its release. Tim Radford of The Guardian called the film "Allen's most closely focused and daring film to date".[58] The New York Times' Vincent Canby preferred Annie Hall to Allen's second directorial effort, Take the Money and Run, since the former is more "humane" while the latter is more a "cartoon".[59] Several critics have compared the film favorably to Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage (1973),[59][60][61] including Joseph McBride in Variety, who found it Allen's "most three-dimensional film to date" with an ambition equal to Bergman's best even as the co-stars become the "contemporary equivalent of ... Tracy-Hepburn."[60] More critically, Peter Cowie commented that the film "suffers from its profusion of cultural references and asides".[62]

After more than a quarter century, the film has continued to receive positive reviews. In his 2002 lookback, Roger Ebert noted with surprise that the film had "an instant familiarity" despite its age,[3] and Slant writer Jaime N. Christley found the one-liners "still gut-busting after 35 years".[61] A later Guardian critic, Peter Bradshaw, named it the best comedy film of all time, commenting that "this wonderfully funny, unbearably sad film is a miracle of comic writing and inspired film-making".[63] John Marriott of the Radio Times believed that Annie Hall was the film where Allen "found his own singular voice, a voice that echoes across events with a mixture of exuberance and introspection", referring to the "comic delight" derived from the "spirited playing of Diane Keaton as the kooky innocent from the Midwest, and Woody himself as the fumbling New York neurotic".[64] Empire magazine rated the movie five out of five stars, calling it a "classic".[65] To date, all of the 53 reviews tabulated at Rotten Tomatoes have approved of the film with only one exception (Hollywood Reporter Alan Roberts later stated it was the "worst best picture Oscar winner ever"), for a score of 98%. Its average rating is 8.8 on a scale of 10.[66]

Awards and accolades

Annie Hall won four Oscars at the 50th Academy Awards on April 3, 1978, and was nominated for five in total. Producer Charles H. Joffe received the statue for Best Picture, Allen for Best Director and, with Brickman, for Best Original Screenplay, and Keaton for Best Actress. Allen was also nominated for Best Actor.[67] Many had expected Star Wars to win the major awards, including Brickman and Executive Producer Robert Greenhut.[5]

The film was also honored four times at the BAFTA awards. Along with the top award for Best Film, Keaton won for Best Actress, Allen won for Best Direction and Best Original Screenplay alongside Brickman.[68] The film received only one Golden Globe Award, for Best Film Actress in a Musical or Comedy (Diane Keaton), despite nominations for three other awards: Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), Best Director, and Best Film Actor in a Musical or Comedy (Woody Allen).

In 1992, the United States' Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in its National Film Registry that includes "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" films.[69] The film is often mentioned among the greatest comedies of all time. The American Film Institute lists it 31st in American cinema history.[70] In 2000, they named it second greatest romantic comedy in American cinema.[70] Keaton's performance of "Seems Like Old Times" was ranked 90th on their list of greatest songs included in a film, and her line "La-dee-da, la-dee-da." was named the 55th greatest movie quote.[70] The screenplay was named the sixth greatest screenplay by the Writers Guild of America, West[71] while IGN named it the seventh greatest comedy film of all time.[72] In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted it the forty-second greatest comedy film of all time, and the seventh greatest romantic comedy film of all time.[73] Several lists ranking Allen's best films have put Annie Hall among his greatest work.[74][75][76]

In June 2008, AFI revealed its 10 Top 10—the best ten films in ten classic American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community and Annie Hall was placed second in the romantic comedy genre.[77] AFI also ranked Annie Hall on multiple other lists. In November 2008, Annie Hall was voted in at No. 68 on Empire magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.[78] It is also ranked #2 on Rotten Tomatoes' 25 Best Romantic Comedies, second only to The Philadelphia Story.[79] In 2012, the film was listed as the 127th best film of all time by Sight & Sound critics' poll.[80] The film was also named the 132nd best film by the Sight & Sound directors' poll.[80] In October 2013, the film was voted by the Guardian readers as the second best film directed by Woody Allen.[81]

Legacy and influence

Although the film received critical acclaim and several awards, Allen himself was disappointed with it, and said in an interview, "When Annie Hall started out, that film was not supposed to be what I wound up with. The film was supposed to be what happens in a guy's mind ... Nobody understood anything that went on. The relationship between myself and Diane Keaton was all anyone cared about. That was not what I cared about ... In the end, I had to reduce the film to just me and Diane Keaton, and that relationship, so I was quite disappointed in that movie".[82] Allen has repeatedly declined to make a sequel,[83] and in a 1992 interview stated that "Sequelism has become an annoying thing. I don't think Francis Coppola should have done Godfather III because Godfather II was quite great. When they make a sequel, it's just a thirst for more money, so I don't like that idea so much".[84]

Diane Keaton has stated that Annie Hall was her favorite role and that the film meant everything to her.[85] When asked if being most associated with the role concerned her as an actress, she replied, "I'm not haunted by Annie Hall. I'm happy to be Annie Hall. If somebody wants to see me that way, it's fine by me". Costume designer Ruth Morley, working with Keaton, created a look which had an influence on the fashion world during the late-70s, with women adopting the style: layering oversized, mannish blazers over vests, billowy trousers or long skirts, a man's tie, and boots.[86] The look was often referred to as the "Annie Hall look".[87] Some sources suggest that Keaton herself was mainly responsible for the look, and Ralph Lauren has often claimed credit, but only one jacket and one tie were purchased from Ralph Lauren for use in the film.[88] Allen recalled that Lauren and Keaton's dress style almost did not end up in the film. "She came in," he recalled in 1992, "and the costume lady on Annie Hall said, 'Tell her not to wear that. She can't wear that. It's so crazy.' And I said, 'Leave her. She's a genius. Let's just leave her alone, let her wear what she wants.'"[89]

James Bernardoni states that the film is "one of the very few romantic comedy-dramas of the New Hollywood era and one that has rightly taken its place among the classics of that reverted genre", likening the seriocomic meditation on the couple relationship to George Cukor's Adam's Rib (1949), starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.[34] Since its release, other romantic comedies have inspired comparison. When Harry Met Sally... (1989), Chasing Amy (1997), 500 Days of Summer (2009) and Allen's 2003 film, Anything Else are among them,[80][90][91][92][93] while film director Rian Johnson said in an interview for the book, The Film That Changed My Life, that Annie Hall inspired him to become a film director.[94]

This content is from Wikipedia. GradeSaver is providing this content as a courtesy until we can offer a professionally written study guide by one of our staff editors. We do not consider this content professional or citable. Please use your discretion when relying on it.