Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
Love and Death
Set in 19th-century Russia, Allen is a cowardly serf drafted into the Napoleonic war, who would rather write poetry and obsess over his beautiful but pretentious cousin. Allen's cowardice serves him well when he hides in a cannon and is shot into a tent of French soldiers, making him a national hero. A hilarious parody of Russian literature, Love and Death is a must-see for fans of Allen's films.
Smart, sophisticated, and goofy, Woody Allen's "Love and Death" is the kind of pleasing comedy that caters to everybody who aced Russian Lit. in college. Sending up 19th century Russian literature, Allen puts his personal spin on life in the time of the Napoleonic wars.
In epic, costume drama fashion, "Love and Death" skewers both love and death as presented by the great Russian novelists. There are battlefield skirmishes, duels, flirtatious ladies, and Allen's anachronistic-in-context commentary to hold it all together. Most importantly, there is the aforementioned love and death in great supply.
The film is colorful and expansive; it is executed on a much larger scale than Allen provides today. Still, the token Allen humor regarding sex, love, family,…
Performances : 6.5/10
Story : 8/10
Production : 7.5/10
Overall : 7.33/10
Extremely funny. What stood out the most to me was the delivery of most of Allen's lines. Very reminiscent of the Marx brothers, and it was glorious. Love and Death probably had the most laugh out loud scenes out of any of his films that I've seen in a while, unfortunately I just didn't love what the story was about. Honestly my high rating is mostly just for the yucks. Oh, and for the copious amounts of Ingmar Bergman references.
Long live Woody.
The December Challenge: Film 8
I have something of a love/hate relationship with the films of Woody Allen, by which I mean that I love the vast majority of them but hate the fact that I can never decide which is my favourite. The last time I watched Love and Death I made the following claim;
”It’s not the funniest of Allen’s films (as I said earlier, there are some moments of pure gold but there is certainly some dross that hasn’t quite passed the test of time) but in terms of its creativity and the clear dedication and devotion that Allen had for it, it’s a fantastic film to watch.”
This is where I have a real problem…
Woody Allen's hysterically funny satire of Russian literature and European cinema is one of his best comedies. Arguably containing the highest number of laugh-out loud gags as any film he has ever made, Love and Death sees Allen as cowardly pacifist Bruno, forced to enlist in the Russian army when Napoleon invades. Inadvertently becoming something of a war hero, the perennially randy Bruno convinces his saucy cousin Sonja (a brilliant Diane Keaton) to marry him, and she, in turn, persuades him to carry out her deviously conceived plot to assassinate the occupying French conqueror on a visit to Moscow. Whilst most overtly taking Tolstoy's War and Peace as its main inspiration, translated through the anachronistic filter of Allen's nebbish Manhattanite…
I was pleasantly surprised at how hilarious this was, something I was not expecting at all. Its slapstick style was complimented incredibly by the over-use of sarcasm, an attack of clichés, and Woody Allen's typical deconstruction of love (and I guess of death, too). A clever parody of Russian literature, its references are easy to pick up, and the dialogue, one of Allen's most genius qualities, is exceptionally brilliant. The third collaboration between Allen and Diane Keaton, and their pairing before Allen's breakthrough Annie Hall, their chemistry is spot on, and it is through their leads that this film is so easily yet thoroughly enjoyable.
Sonja: Oh don't, Boris, please. Sex without love is an empty experience.
Boris: Yes, but as empty experiences go, it's one of the best.
Allen and Keaton are a match made in heaven,they look so good together that it is impossible for me to think of another couple engaged in so much dissection of the philosophical thought process. The movie is replete with odes to Ingmar Bergman especially The Seventh Seal and Persona, Russian Literature et al. If i ever become a writer i want to write like you Sir!
I laughed so hard, I bled all over the carpet.
Death: You’re an interesting young man. We’ll meet again.
Young Boris: Don’t bother.
Death: It’s no bother.
"I was walking through the woods, thinking about Christ. If he was a carpenter, I wondered what he charged for bookshelves."
Outstanding intellectual satire with great Woody Allen one-liners and soundtrack by Sergei Prokofiev. This could be Woody's funniest film.
In the early 19th century, Russian pacifist Boris Grushenko (Woody Allen) woos his cousin Sonja (Diane Keaton). Unfortunately, he's pressed into military service and eventually executed for his involvement in a failed attempt to assassinate Napoleon.
Allen skillfully uses over the top melodrama to create a parody of 19th century Russian novels and existentialism.
This film, a transition from the slapstick films of Allen's early period to the serious tragi-comedies of his most fertile period, is one of the most intelligent comedies ever written.
This is my second movie today with a gag every few seconds, and with most of them missing the mark. In this case Woody Allen does his best Bob Hope impersonation as he parodies both Russian literature and Bergman films.
Probably my least favorite Allen film yet. Which is strange being an Allen/Keaton film. Who would've guessed?
"To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer. Not to love is to suffer. To suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you're getting this down."
Kind of made me really sad even as it remained lighthearted and overtly Allen.
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
The book celebrates and chronicles over one…