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11/26/07

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Over the years Woody Allen has grown on me. I think you have to be a little older and wiser to truly appreciate his films. The younger me couldn't get into them, because they're mostly talking, no stylish camera-work or editing, just straight-forward, more old fashion type filmmaking.

Manhattan is usually considered his second best film after Annie Hall, which is my favorite Woody Allen film, but I had never seen Manhattan all the way through. When I found the DVD in the discount bin for $5, I couldn't resist.

The plot is extremely similar to Annie Hall, to a lot of his films really; Woody is a middle-age-man dissatisfied with New York writer life, dating women completely out of his league. In this case it's a 17-year-old Mariel Hemingway, who acts older than her age, but it's still a Lolita type situation. He meets Diane Keaton, who is having an affair with his married best friend. They have much more in common and start to have a more real-world type relationship.

Manhattan isn't as full of laughs as Annie Hall, it's almost more of a drama, but retains a lot of that dry Woody Allen humor. I loved the black and white photography, the opening few minutes of the film, may be the best scene in any of his films. (See it below.)

I'll continue to make my way through Allen's films, there are about 10 to 15 that I still haven't seen. He's been doing some really interesting films as of late, stuff far different than what he's known for; Scoop and Match Point are both really worth seeing. It's great to see him continue to evolve as an artist.


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