Annie Hall

Not only is this high on various lists of Greatest Movies Of All Time, it's also clocked up some of the best written reviews of any film. Ever.

I know. Because I have spent the last few days reading them. It's all very daunting. Sitting down to write yet another review. What can I say about such a beloved and appreciated film? Other than: I love it, too. And, not having seen it in over fifteen years, I had pretty much forgotten how much of an impact it can have.

"Annie Hall" is the story of a relationship told in flashbacks and fantasy sequences. The narrator tells us in the opening moments that: "Annie and I broke up and I still can't get my mind around that. I keep sifting the pieces of the relationship through my mind and examining my life and tryin' to figure out where did the screwup come. A year ago we were in love." And those opening lines are a perfect description of what is to follow.

The movie has no linear structure, and no plot. It's mostly two people talking. Walking and talking in beautifully filmed sequences. There are a lot of fantasy sequences, too. No two of which are the same. One scene features subtitles to tell us what the characters are thinking, another scene shows Annie's mind leaving her body during sex, while another features people in different rooms (shown in split screen) having a conversation back and forth. Random strangers stop on the street with vital information, then depart again. And one of the scenes is animated. This is from 1977, by the way. The year it won the Best Picture Oscar.

But this not a film of gimmicks. It's a film about love. The story of two very real people in love. AFI listed this as the greatest romantic comedy of all time. And it's easy to see why. There is a lot of romance in this movie and a lot of comedy, too. The stars/characters have astonishing chemisty and it's easy to believe that this woman is the Love Of His Life. The dialogue is peppered with some of the funniest dialogue every written for the screen, and many lines have escaped into popular culture and are quoted time and time again ("Don't knock masturbation; it's sex with someone I love").

In terms of content and storytelling technique, this is a masterpiece. "A+" from me.

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