Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Manhattan

Dir: Woody Allen, 1979, bw (9.0*)

Best Picture (BAA)
Perhaps more drama than comedy, this is one of Woody's great three New York Films, the others being Annie Hall and Hannah and Her Sisters.
Allen, a writer, is involved with a high schooler, Oscar-nominated Mariel Hemingway, while going through a nasty divorce, ex Meryl Streep (Oscar nomination) is writing an autobiography of how he turned her lesbian! (terrific stuff). Meanwhile, he falls for married friend Michael Murphy's new mistress, Diane Keaton. This film delicately balances all this without resorting to his normal comic foibles (running from creatures, being attacked by bric-a-brac). Lovingly shot in black and white around famous New York locales, it also appropriately uses the music of George Gershwin instead of his normal ragtime or dixieland or whatever the heck he plays, and this fits better; one of his best.

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.



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