Woody Allen ranked

Though I wouldn't number Allen among my very favourite filmmakers, there's a lot to his work that I completely adore. For the past couple of weeks I've been slowly working my way through his filmography, so thought I'd share my preference of the films of his that I've seen so far, especially since some of my picks tend to diverge from critical consensus. Your thoughts are appreciated.

[Notes: The placing of New York Stories refers just to my opinion of Allen's segment, "Oedipus Wrecks", not the film as a whole. I realise that Allen did not himself direct Play it Again, Sam, but it's too fantastic to not include.]

16 Comments

  • Nice list, though in my opinion Midnight in Paris should be higher. Charming and whimsical movie, if a little inconsequential.

  • I'm baffled by all the Midnight in Paris love. I like it plenty, but the way some people regard it as among Woody's finest I just can't understand. Maybe just because Owen Wilson annoys me too much...

  • Probably not Woody's best but deserves better than placed 19th out of 27 spots. Somewhere around top ten. But, yeah, in retrospective, I see why it can be kinda too charming and stuff. Owen Wilson cracks me up everytime. Did you see him in Royal Tenenbaums - hah, or even Night at the Museum - and think him annoying?

  • He was brilliant in Darjeeling Limited, I forgot. Think he's brilliant. See why he can tick some people off too though...each man to his own opinion.

  • The Royal Tenenbaums is the least annoyed I've been by him, but there's just something about the way he drags his vowel sounds out that makes it completely impossible for me to hear him speak without wanting to peel my own skin off. Oh yeah, it's that bad.

  • did you forget Mighty Aphrodite? or just choose to ignore it?

  • I just haven't seen it yet!

  • Vicky Christina Barcelona was very good too. Match Point was bad.

  • Radio Days is greatly underrated, great to see it so high.

  • I quite liked Whatever Works. Not amazing mind, but lots to like. I also have a love for What's Up Tiger Lily, my first Allen I saw.

    Will you be counting Play It Again, Sam? He didn't direct it, but he wrote and starred in it and it's absolutely superb. Have you seen it yet? It's the film fan's Allen picture.

  • Gah, Whatever Works raised about two snickers from me and nothing more besides boredom and reserved hatred toward Larry David's Allen impression. It doesn't help that I just don't like Larry David in general.
    Can understand the fondness for your first. Play it Again, Sam was, as it happens, my first of his. Absolutely adored it, so wittily inventive. I was only just wondering whether or not I should add it. I guess even though he didn't call the shots it very much is a Woody Allen film...

  • The only problem with that is that you're totally going to have to give Antz a look (it's actually pretty great). And if that, then CASINO ROYALE!!! Hahahaha. Hate to be you.

  • That's cool you ranked Deconstructing Harry so highly. Its anger and fuckedupness still seems satisfying as I remember, long after I tired of the standard Allen neurotic intellectual romcom thing.

  • Yeah, so much of what I love about it is the venemous passion of it. Just wrote an essay about it, made me fall even further in love. I might have to put it higher, that an Stardust Memories.

  • I just wanted to say that I'm happy to see someone else actually liked Shadows and Fog. I found it to be an interesting homage to Expressionist/Noir films, while also being hilarious, probably as funny as his "early funny films". Interestingly enough, the serial killer/vigilante group plot is based on one of Woody's plays from the mid 70s, which explains why the humor is like his earlier work.

  • Ooh, that is interesting. It's a delicate balance between that sort of silly comedy and the more heavy existentialist themes, pretty miraculous that it manages to work at all.

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