Review 14: Rebecca (1941)

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For reasons involving a 3000 word essay, family commitments and candy crush saga, Moviebelle Reviews has been a ghost town this last month. In fitting with this, my triumphant comeback to the blogging world will be Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rebecca”. The chilling adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s novel about a woman whose husband’s manor is haunted with the memory of his deceased wife.

Unbelievable as it seems, Hitchcock never won an Oscar for direction, although nominated five times. And though several of his films were nominated for best picture, ‘Rebecca’ is the only one that ever received it. Strangely, and to this day, it is also the only film to win best picture without any directing, acting or writing accolades. If you ask me, his magnum opus was ‘Rear Window’  but that’s sadly not going to be featured in this blog having been beaten in 1955 by ‘On the Waterfront’. As a self-declared advocate for gender equality, it may come as something as a surprise to find out I’m such a fan of the master of the male gaze. He might not be my first choice of guest at my imaginary dinner party, but I have great admiration for Hitch’s skill as a film-maker of remarkable influence who never fails to thrill.

‘Rebecca’ begins in the South of France, where a young woman (Joan Fontaine) is employed as a paid companion to a wealthy dowager. There she meets a rich, brusque and mysterious bachelor George Maximilian “Maxim” de Winter (Laurence Olivier). His manner and desire for solitude is supposedly caused by his agonised mourning for his late wife Rebecca. When her employer falls sick and is confined to her bed, she soon becomes his unpaid companion. An intriguing romance blossoms and when she is accompany her employer to New York, thus separating them, he offers  perhaps the most offhand marriage proposal in the history of film.

The doting couple return to his enormous estate Manderley, only to discover an even more immense presence is awaiting them. The ‘ghost’ of Rebecca’s memory fills every inch of the house and the new Mrs De Winter grows more and more distraught and lonely. The housekeeper Mrs Danvers (Judith Anderson) is a major source of her dread, who takes it upon herself to psychologically torture the new Mrs de Winter for the sole reason that she is not her old mistress Rebecca, whom she had an unorthodox adoration for it would seem.

It’s incredible how intense Hitchcock makes something as simple as the new Mrs De Winter spying a handkerchief embroidered with Rebecca’s initials. As the film progresses, the presence of a woman who died before the film even began becomes increasingly suffocating. Mrs De Winter is an emotional wreck, and while I find the fragile, fainting woman as eye-roll inducing as the next person, I can’t say I blame her. Considering all it takes is seeing a girl I don’t know talking/laughing with my boyfriend from a distance to make my skin burn, being trapped in a mansion where everywhere I look is a reminder of his previous love would probably mess with my sanity as well.

If you’re wondering why I’m not referring to Joan Fontaine’s character by her first name, it’s because we never learn it in the film (or book). This is one of the ingenious touches that adds to the overwhelming grip of ‘Rebecca’. This next part (which I have italicised)  may count as a spoiler so proceed with caution…but we never even see so much as a picture of Rebecca. All we know is that she was apparently very beautiful. The viewer then creates a goddess image in their head of the woman that could not be lived up to by any actress. This gives the film an almost supernatural element: Rebecca transcends a mortal human by being so alive after death. 

As the film progresses, we unravel the mystery of ‘Rebecca’ death and the power she held over her husband, and delve into who she really was. It sounds a cliché but you really are kept guessing until the bitter end. There’s nothing much else to add: the acting is fantastic, the direction unsurprisingly sublime and the plot wonderfully gripping with Hitch’s trademark edge-of-your-seat stamp. Although I very hastily add that equal credit should go to Du Maurier. The original writer behind this masterful thriller.

This is a film I’d show to people to who say they don’t like black and white films because they’re boring, which as any true film lover knows is a nonsensical view. The ‘Paranormal Activity’ series has nothing on the suspense of classic Hitchcock (or from what I hear, anything on what’s considered to be remotely scary). ‘Rebecca’ is an exquisitely executed story that proves there is little more terrifying than one’s ex.

You can follow me at the https://twitter.com/themoviebelle, otherwise it would be awesome if you left a comment and/or like. You can also send me a personal email at themoviebelle1@gmail.com.

Review 13: 12 Years a Slave (2014)

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Call it deadly premonition but I had a feeling it would be Steve McQueen’s film that I’d be reviewing. It’s given me plenty of time to think about what I want to say about it and yet I’m still at a bit of a loss at where to begin. It would certainly be a lot easier if I hadn’t seen the other best picture nominees (many which I adored) as I can’t help but compare “12 Years a Slave” to them, rather than measure the films quality objectively.

I’m probably not very successfully disguising the fact that I’m beating around the bush a bit in regards to answering the very simple question: ‘Do I think “12 Years a Slave” deserved best picture’. Before I give a definite answer once and for all, I’m going to erase from my memory that I’ve seen any of the other nominees and give the film credit where it’s due.

A brief spoiler-free synopsis first. The film is based on the 1853 memoirs of Solomon Northup (portrayed by Chiwetel Ejiofor). Solomon is a free man, residing in New York State with his wife and two children, and overall leads a wonderful life as a talented fiddle player. Without warning, he is kidnapped and sold into slavery. What follows is  two hours of a man trying not to let his spirit break. As the film depicts his 12 year hell we encounter slave-drivers, one benevolent (played by an ill-casted Benedict Cumberbatch) and one abhorrent (played by a brilliantly casted Michael Fassbender). He befriends Patsey, a young slave “favoured” by her owner. I’m reluctant to say a huge amount more but I will say Lupita N’yongo’s supporting actress Oscar win is one award that is undoubtedly deserved. As is Ejiofor’s nomination. The film is so explicitly brutal that in the intimacy of a film theatre each crack of a whip, bead of sweat that falls from a character’s forehead and scream of pain seems to penetrate the viewer’s skin. It is largely down to Ejiofor’s performance that the experience hits you this way.

The more I reflect, the more I realise what a great and bravely honest film this is. And I’m glad I took the time to muse before saying whether or not I think it deserved the big prize, because I may have had a mini-revelation. The diversity and individual brilliance between the nominated films this year is too great to possibly put into a ‘good, better, best’ order, because I guarantee everyone has a different, equally valid opinion. So when I say whether I think it did or did not deserve the best picture Oscar, the only justification I can give is what I think. Hopefully this is making sense. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not copping out of saying which films I preferred, but do keep what I’ve said in mind. Even better, leave a comment letting me know your views.

So in order leading up to first place, here is the order that I rank the films. (I regretfully have not seen “Dallas Buyer’s Club”, “Philomena”, “Captain Phillips” or “Nebraska” so will leave them out. When I have viewed them I will come back and amend the incomplete list)

5) “The Wolf of Wall Street” – I loved this film. It was an epic three-hour drug trip and I was sad to come down. The resemblances between “Goodfellas” were hard not to notice and as a result underlined the fact that while every bit as fun, it wasn’t quite as fine a film. Do not get me started on Leo losing the Oscar to the douche in “Failure to Launch” and “Ghosts of girlfriends past”. McConaughey is  now number 2 on my hit-list after Sandler.

4) “12 Years a Slave” – this film deserves all it’s acclaim and although hard to watch, it is important that we never forget this blood-stained mark on the parchment of history. An incredible film but alas not quite my favourite.

3) “American Hustle” – this film is getting almost as much hate as it is admiration. My placing it at number three indicates what camp I belong in. I love David O’Russell’s work and this is probably the slickest and finest directed film he’s made to date. The actors are amazing, the script is electric and funny, and although the plot can be confusing (it is a grifting movie in fairness) if you pay attention and go with the flow you’ll understand why this film is awesome.

2) “Gravity” – The best picture award should go to a film that will stand the test of time. It’s by no means a perfect film: the dialogue is a bit dodgy at times and it does fall into one or two cliché pit falls…but my God, what a cinematic experience. It’s the film experience I’ll always remember as being appropriately out-of-this world. Were it not for the film I saw last night, “Gravity” would hold my number one spot.

Drum roll…

1) “Her” – I cannot tell you how happy I am that I saw this film before the ceremony because as far as I’m concerned, it is the rightful winner. Pretty much everything I’ve praised the above films for is in this picture: humour, emotion, fantastic script, phenomenal acting, direction, cinematography…It’s a film about love, relationships, technology, metaphysics, friendship, want, need and our place in the world. If I had my way, Spike Jonze’s original screenplay Oscar would be sitting on his mantelpiece among many others.

2013/14 was an incredible year for film, and I’m already impatient to find out what films 2014/15 will bring. Thankfully, I still have 73 other best picture films to review, which will keep me occupied until then. Keep reading and much love.

You can follow me at the https://twitter.com/themoviebelle, otherwise it would be awesome if you left a comment and/or like. You can also send me a personal email at themoviebelle1@gmail.com.

 

 

IT’S OSCAR NIGHT BABY!

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So to make up for my fortnight-long absence on the blogging front, I’ve decided to do an extra post in celebration of the greatest event on the film calender. No, not Adam Sandler’s resignation/death alas. I’m talking of course about the academy awards.

While I shamefully neglected my moviebelle blog I did manage to write an Oscar predictions article for my university culture magazine “Owl Eyes” and thought I’d share it. Honestly I’d love if people commented on my predictions and opinions. I’d be really interested to hear your own and don’t mind if you cheerfully remark at how wrong my verdicts are. There is no event that unites film-lovers like the Oscars.

Anyway, here is the link to my article. Show some love with a like and share: Who’s Who and What’s What at the Oscars

A slight amendment to the article:  I have now seen the film “Her”and think not only should it win best original screenplay but also pretty much every award it’s nominated for.

On that note, whatever film wins best picture I intend to review tomorrow. That said, it’ll pretty much be an overall review of the best picture category because too many great films are up this year and I suspect not all of them are going to receive the accolades I personally feel they deserve. With that said, I hope all you watching tonight, in whatever time zone you’re in, really enjoy the show. I will be spamming you with more reviews very soon. Peace out.

Review 12: From Here to Eternity (1953)

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Firstly, an obvious apology is due for the insane length of time between this review and my last one. To clarify: I had several university commitments and furthermore, haven’t been feeling terribly well recently. I regrettably don’t have the machine-like ability of churning out reviews when my head is buzzing with other concerns. And in honesty, I’d rather my reviews were of high quality and spread out rather than frequent and not up to good standard. Anyway, I shall try to redeem myself and have my future reviews uploaded more consistently.

Okay, so let’s talk about “From Here to Eternity”. I chose to write on this film because firstly, it is still February, the month of love (a very belated happy Valentine’s/Single awareness day to you all) and secondly, seeing as my previous review “Titanic” was a romance set during a disastrous event, I thought it would be interesting to next watch the original Pearl Harbour film. Before I continue let’s get some unpleasantness out the way. As I’m sure most of you are aware, there is another romantic film about Pearl Harbour that exists. One that somehow managed to be as traumatising as the event itself and has probably ruined more lives. I’ve gone back and forth on whether to do a comparison of the two films and ultimately decided to refrain. The reason for this is simply that the review would basically become a ‘this is why “From Here to Eternity” is good/this is why Michael Bay’s “Pearl Harbour” is an abomination of cinema’ list. There’s only so many ways to say “what a terrible film” so with that, I will cease to mention Michael Bay’s film for the rest of this review and, if I can help it, the rest of my life.

As with “Titanic”, “From Here to eternity” director Fred Zinnemann – who also directed the 1966 best picture “A Man For All Seasons” (my review of that can be read here http://themoviebelle.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/review-8-a-man-for-all-seasons-1966/ ) – does not allow the romantic storylines to distract or take away from the gravity of the films setting. In fact, the title is somewhat misinterpreted. The iconic black and white images of Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster  caressing on the beach as waves crash around them would lead one to believe the title refers to a love stretching from here to eternity. Quite wrong. It actually refers to a line in a Rudyard Kipling poem: “Gentleman rankers on the spree, Damned from here to eternity”. Upon finding this out, the film takes on a new level of poignancy.

The plot centres around the adversities of three soldiers, stationed in Hawaii, pre-pearl harbour attack. Frank Sinatra puts in a good supporting role performance as Private Maggio, the likable wildcard who makes enemies with wrong the soldier and falls victim to the injustice and cruelty that an authoritarian title enables. Sergeant Warden (Lancaster) is the experienced and guarded Sergeant who knows that playing by the rules is the way to survive, although he endangers himself greatly when beginning an affair with the Captain’s neglected wife (Kerr). Private Prewitt (Montgomery Cliff) is the young, introverted hothead. When transferred to Oahu he angers the Captain by refusing to partake in regimental boxing (a good activity for the men’s morale apparently), having quit due to accidently blinding his last opponent. This provokes his superior to resort to bullying tactics one would expect to see from an over-competitive high school sports coach as opposed to a respected Captain.

This is one of the more surprising elements of the film: it doesn’t put the US army (or army in general) in a great light. Considering it was released only eight years after the war ended this is somewhat bold. Saying that, the novel by James Jones that the film was based on was more explicitly critical, and if I have one complaint it’s that I wish the film hadn’t toned it down – although again, I understand why Zinnemann did, the wounds of WW2 still being very tender. In fairness, Zinnemann definitely makes the point though.  As the Japanese reign down attack, Prewitt is determined to fight with his comrades. His fiancé Lorene (Donna Reed – in an Oscar winning role) shrieks after him: “What did the army ever do for you?” In spite of the dreadful treatment he endured at the and of individuals, he remains dedicated to his love of the army, and perseveres. I obviously cannot say anymore at the risk of spoilers. Should you watch for yourself, take from it what you will.

I’d be lying if I said this is my favourite film I’ve reviewed so far, or that I’ll eagerly watch it again. For one thing, the treatment of female characters and their representation irks me: Kerr is the classic unhappy, attractive housewife – the ‘damaged slut’ if you will. Reed’s character is a hostess at a gentlemen’s club, although her personality at least has a little more fire. I’m not unreasonable though. I’m well aware this film was made in the 50′s and the priority of the film is the tribulations of the men who were involved in the war. I may not be partial to the taste of caviar, but I understand that it’s a fine food. In the same vein, I’m in no way denying “From Here to Eternity” is overall a very fine film..

Review 11: Titanic (1997)

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You all knew this was coming. One does not simply review romantic films in celebration of the month of love without including James Cameron’s epic “Titanic”. In this film we saw Cameron taking on two huge tasks. Firstly, to create a harrowing, intense and action-packed re-enactment of one of the most devastating disasters in history. Secondly, to portray a romance as beautiful and tragic as Romeo and Juliet (apparently that is how the film was pitched by Cameron to producers: Romeo and Juliet on the Titanic). Now, one would think this couldn’t possibly work. Either the love story would seem tacked on for the sake of attracting a bigger female demographic (I hasten to add this cheap trick doesn’t work on me, as it likely doesn’t work for dozens of other women). Or, even worse, the romance story would downgrade the tragedy of the ship sinking and even seem disrespectful to history. Miraculously though, Cameron succeeded.

In my last review of “Shakespeare in love” (which you can read here http://themoviebelle.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/review-10-shakespeare-in-love-1998/) I put forward the opinion that, although I like the film immensely, it doesn’t have that indescribable “best picture” quality. “Titanic” conversely, most certainly does. Say what you will about James Cameron as a person or as a self-proclaimed “visionary”…but he made an incredible film. I’ve seen this film many times and viewed it from many different angles. I’ve watched it on video (yay for nostalgia); I’ve watched it on a massive cinema screen restored in 3D. I’ve watched it  with a rigorous and analytical eye; at  with a glass of wine in my pyjamas. Regardless of how and where I watch it, the verdict is always the same: I love this film.

I do not love it in the “OMG Jack and Rose are flying aw xx lol”  sense that I’m more than aware many people do. I love it because I am consistently impressed and entertained by it. The scenes depicting the tragedy never fail to make a hard-hitting impact on me. The romantic moments always fill me with a warm ache. But let me make it absolutely clear that I in no way think this is a perfect film. It’s got it’s flaws, and they are not subtle. Of the eleven Oscars “Titanic” was nominated for in 1997, best screenplay was not among them, and for good reason. Let’s be honest, the character of Rose’s fiancé Cal (Billy Zane) is the sort of cartoonish villain I’d expect to see in a Disney movie, and some of the dialogue between Jack and Rose sounds like it’s ripped from a similar source (“You can’t save me Jack.” “No, you’re right (dramatic pause). Only you can do that.” Please.)  I will say however, there are some moments when the emotion the dialogue carries really works, one of the most heart-breaking being when Rose and Jack are hanging on the back of the ship for dear life as the Titanic ascends, preparing to be plunged into the freezing ocean. Rose says half-laughing: “Jack, this is where we first met”. It’s powerful and sweet at the same time. It’s worth pointing out though that Kate Winslet ad-libbed that line, so the only credit I can give Cameron is for being smart enough to keep it in.

This leads nicely into discussing our lead actors. It is the chemistry and naturally sublime acting talents of  Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio that makes this potentially corny love story work. Even those who disagree and do find it cheesy can’t deny, on some small level you become emotionally invested and really want these two to make it. Apart from maybe Zane – although I guess he did do his best with the role – the supporting cast is stellar as well. Kathy Bates is fantastic as the unsinkable Molly Brown. Bernard Hill playing the captain carries a thousand emotions in his eyes as he makes his way to the cabin to go down with the ship. Victor Garber, playing the ship’s builder, has similarly heart-breaking moments to shine, correcting the time on a clock that will soon be at the bottom of an ocean and the truly gut-wrenching sincerity in his voice as he realises the ship is going to sink. The last of the extensive cast members I’ll mention is of course, Gloria Stuart, playing the 101 year old Rose and narrator of our story.

There are countless other people I could talk about and I don’t mean actors. I’m referring of course to the souls who died on the ship of dreams, whether they are included in the film or not. James Cameron’s handling of the “characters” we do see in the film (most based at least in part on actual people), is what makes this film truly excellent. Their individual screen times may be a few minutes to a few seconds, but in that space of time he communicates their stories and their humanities. There is no sense of anything being glazed over and offers a very sad but respectful tribute to the souls who lost their lives, or who lost the loves of their lives. It is as though we are gently reminded that although the spotlight is on a woman called Rose Dewitt Bukater and a man called Jack Dawson, everyone else on that ship has a story as rich as theirs that equally merits a three-hour film. It’s a humbling note to end this review on and feels right. So I’ll take my leave here.

You can follow me at the https://twitter.com/themoviebelle, otherwise it would be awesome if you left a comment and/or like. You can also send me a personal email at themoviebelle1@gmail.com.

Review 10: Shakespeare in Love (1998)

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We are eight days into the month of love. It was a combination of that plus the fact that I’m currently studying Shakespeare and Marlowe in English lit class that gave me the urge to watch John Madden’s lovely romance “Shakespeare in Love”. Note I did not say “historical” or “biographical” romance. At least 75% of this film is entirely made-up. It doesn’t matter in the slightest though, in fact it’s the fictitious elements in this film that make it so comedic and wonderfully romantic. I swear, I felt swept off my feet by this film.

Evidently, I wasn’t the only one. The Academy awarded it best picture in 1998 over “Saving Private Ryan”, which is quite galling for some people. I should point out that this was one of the years at the Oscars when best picture and best director went to different films – frequently picture comes gift-wrapped with director. You’ll be glad to know that Steven Spielberg did get the directing Oscar for “Saving Private Ryan”. It’s movie moments like this that make me question what is really means to be the best picture. It’s not necessarily the most powerful film of the year as demonstrated here. I mean at worst “Shakespeare in Love” might choke you up a bit and have you reaching for a tub of Ben and Jerry’s (and that’s if you’re really mushy) but I somehow doubt it would invoke the astonishment, horror and devastation “Saving Private Ryan” does. Nor is the prize necessarily awarded to the most innovative film (I refer back to my “Forrest Gump” review and its beating out “Pulp Fiction” which you can read here http://themoviebelle.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/review-6-forrest-gump/ ). I barely need to mention it isn’t dependent on box office popularity: in which case “Avengers Assemble” would have been our 2013 winner instead of “Argo” (I haven’t actually seen “Argo” so will remain open to the possibility that wouldn’t have been  a bad thing). There’s no point in sugar-coating the fact that the Oscars are extremely political and backstage deals play an important part. Really, the best way to define a best picture is to ask whether the film itself defined a year in cinema. And in all honesty, I don’t get that this one did.

To set the record straight: I really like this film, and what’s more I think it’s a brilliant film in terms of quality. The script is lively and clever, the casting is pretty perfect and it’s just a joy to watch. It tells the story of how a young William Shakespeare (played by Joseph Fiennes) is suffering writer’s block due to his lack of muse (muse translating as nookie). Theatre owner Philip Henslowe (Geoffrey Rush) is on his case to finish writing his upcoming comedy “Romeo and Ethel the Pirates Daughter”. Meanwhile, a refined poetry-loving young woman named Viola De Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow), decides to defy convention and become an actor by disguising herself as a male. Will gets his muse and his writing spark back and Viola gets the life of poetry and chance of being an actor she dreamed of. The film documents (if it’s possible to “document” a fictitious event) Viola and Shakespeare’s love, which I have to say is full of genuine chemistry and heart-melting romance, without in any way being sickly sweet. As their love blooms so does the play and “Romeo and Ethel the Pirates Daughter” becomes, of course, “King Lear”.

(That’s a joke. It’s actually “Romeo and Juliet”. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.)

What is kind of awesome about this film is how its tone, characters and themes matches that of a Shakespearian comedy. It has cross-dressing, slapstick and memorable characters in name and personality. On the subject of characters, literature scholars will enjoy the host of famous figures who “cameo” in the film, including gore-fest playwright John Webster and esteemed actor of his time Ned Alleyn (who oddly enough, is played by Ben Affleck). Judi Dench shines as Queen Elizabeth, so dazzlingly so that she got a best supporting actress role for eight minutes of screen time. And what would a film about anything to do with Shakespeare be without some kind of appearance from a renowned Shakespearian actor, in this case Simon Callow. The only character I would criticise is Lord Wessex (Colin Firth), the cold and commandeering love rival of Will’s, and Viola’s future husband. Firth does what he can with the role but it’s a little generically bad guy-ish.

Again the film is totally delightful, very funny and romantically engaging, as well as being a lovely tribute to Shakespeare. The idea of the world’s greatest love story being conceived as the film depicts is extraordinary clever and one wants to believe it’s true. It just for whatever reason doesn’t scream “best picture” at me,… more a well-deserved nominee. I can’t decide what Shakespeare quotation to end this review on so just insert your favourite here [...].

You can follow me at the https://twitter.com/themoviebelle, otherwise it would be awesome if you left a comment and/or like. You can also send me a personal email at themoviebelle1@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Review 9: Annie Hall (1977)

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Seeing as February is the month of love, what with Valentine’s Day and all, I thought I’d review strictly romantic films that have won best picture until the end of the month. I doubt there’s a better film to start with than the definitive romantic comedy and Woody Allen’s masterpiece “Annie Hall”. Described by its tagline as a “Nervous Romance” it is as perceptive and intelligent as it is funny, and proves that the best kind of comedy comes from character. If my first paragraph of sheer gush hasn’t convinced you of this film’s greatness then how about this: it won best picture over “Star Wars”. Yeah. Think about it.

Whenever someone writes a review of a Woody Allen film, more than often they feel the need to address what they see as an elephant in the room: his, at best, unorthodox and, at worst, immoral marriage. It’s understandable that people have mixed feelings about separating the man from his genius work and thus feel the need to reference his private life but honestly, I just want to talk about the film. There we go, the elephant has reared its ugly trunk briefly and can now piss off.

“Annie Hall” is a ninety minute reflection and analysis of why a relationship went wrong. The protagonist and narrator Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) is a comedian who all his life has struggled with relationships – with his parents, his peers and above all, with women. One day when playing tennis with his agent and friend Max he meets a delightfully ditzy women named Annie (Diane Keaton). We then witness a second game of tennis. A metaphorical one of words exchanged between two people who are interested and attracted to each other and desperately trying to communicate it to the other person while trying to suss out if they feel the same. Shortly after, they kiss (in a brilliantly unsentimental scene) and kablammo – it’s love for sure.

But no matter how perfect a couple is, the individuals that make it up are not. Especially not Alvy, who’s neurotic nature, paranoia and insecurity are getting in the way of his happiness. Not to mention getting on Annie’s nerves - who is a cheery, grass-smoking nightclub singer.

In the film we are privileged to get inside the depths of Alvy’s mind. Flashbacks of his childhood reveal he was apparently literally raised underneath a rollercoaster with two constantly yelling parents, which is enough to give anyone fragile nerves. At the beginning of the film, Alvy confesses his imagination is a tad over-active and we get to see exactly how reality is distorted inside his mind. The way Allen executes these moments is perfect. My personal favourite is, after another argument with Annie, when he “approaches” strangers in the street and asks them questions about their own love life, to receive some spectacular answers. It’s such a quotable film it’s hard to refrain from listing all my (many) favourite lines but I will for the sake of those who haven’t seen the film yet.

I’ve seen “Annie Hall” at least six times and each time I deduce more from it. Although the humour never fails to delight me, I’m speaking more about the analytic aspect, primary the theme of psychoanalysis. The fact that we get an open window into Alvy’s mind and his honest musings about his relationships means each flashback and each diversion from reality has so much that can be read into it. Thus giving the film real rewatchability (I don’t think that’s a word but whatever, Shakespeare made up words). We too can join Alvy in his goal, so to speak, to dissect his character and unravel why things didn’t turn out right.

Saying that, “Annie Hall” is a film that speaks to the individual viewer whether they are in a relationship or not. Anyone who has felt a spark of infatuation for another that didn’t go further than staring at them from a distance, will still draw something from this film. I guess it’s for essentially this reason the academy went for it in 1977. It hits you on a subconscious level.

“Annie Hall” is one of the very few comedies to ever win best picture. I mentioned in my review of “It Happened One Night” (which you can read here http://themoviebelle.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/review-3-it-happened-one-night/)  that the genre of romantic comedy has been tarnished. Largely by gross-out teen flicks, depressingly clichéd plots/formula and basically most things Adam Sandler touches. “Annie Hall” is one of the original, and revolutionised comedy. It makes me hope another revolution is around the corner (I really think sacrificing Adam Sandler would be a good start). All I have to add is: La-di-dah.

You can follow me at the https://twitter.com/themoviebelle, otherwise it would be awesome if you left a comment and/or like. You can also send me a personal email at themoviebelle1@gmail.com.