Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
Woody Allen's New Comedy Hit
The life of a divorced television writer dating a teenage girl is further complicated when he falls in love with his best friend's mistress.
Film #3 of Florin's Recommendations
“I feel like we're in a Noel Coward play. Someone should be making martinis.”
Isaac Davies is the typical Woody Allen character, an underachieving intellectual who is not confident enough to do what he wants to do in life, someone who is living a romantically –and of course sexually- problematic life and seems to struggle with the endless complexities of human relationships, someone who has always been one step away from achieving success but the fear of rejection and the lack of confidence have kept him from reaching greatness and happiness, an individual who is desperately searching for the meaning of life in a time and place where things- thanks to modernization- are changing so…
From the stunning opening sequence with the familiar wail of 'Rhapsody in Blue', Woody Allen guides us round the nooks and crannies of his home city. His fractured voiceover introduces the city as one of the main characters; as complex, loveable and frustrating as the movie's human populous.
He introduces other cities this way in his later, 'European tour' movies, but he only ever gives us a tourist's picture postcard of the likes of London, Barcelona and Paris. Here, it is intensely personal. He is one tiny cell of New York's lifeblood, and New York flows similarly in his veins.
Take the famous shot from the poster: as self-absorbed, neurotic, inconsistent and maddeningly burdened with First-World problems Isaac, Mary and…
Manhattan is the type of comedy I like: neurotically simple simple, romantic, charming and fresh, never falling into unreasonable clichés while telling its story. Everything seems to work in this film, from the delicious dialogue which makes cultural references without exaggerating to its lovely direction. Beautifully shot in black and white, Manhattan is Woody Allen's love letter to New York, his beloved city, which he thought that was the perfect background for this story, and, god, he was right. The film is about a divorced television writer, who has ambitions to become a novel writer. He's a neurotic underachieving intellectual who's always changing his mind about love and who does not know what to do with his life. As always,…
Woody Allen turns in another mostly romantic comedy with "Manhattan." A film about a man swinging between two relationships, "Manhattan" is full of wit and enough bite and subtle authenticism to make it stand out where other Allen comedies come off as artificial.
Like 1977's "Annie Hall," 1979's "Manhattan" is less about plot and more about characters and their idiosyncracies. Allen casts himself in the lead as a neurotic nebbish who can not decide between a 17-year-old girl and his best friend's mistress. Allen's protagonist bears an arrested arc, leaving love's lessons unlearned and changes unmade. The rest of the cast is filled out by a refreshingly real Diane Keaton as Allen's adult paramour, Muriel Hemingway as Allen's teen crush,…
“Chapter One. He was as tough and romantic as the city he loved. Behind his black-rimmed glasses was the coiled sexual power of a jungle cat—oh, I love this. New York was his town, and it always would be.”
Is life fundamentally sweet or sour? Depends on your point of view, I suppose. You get a new job, make a new friend, fall in love—life is honeyed and worth living. You lose that job, have a falling out with that friend, fall out of love—life is curdled and should be thrown out. The funny thing is, those circumstances don’t parcel themselves out discretely. They tend to coexist. You get a promotion but have a fight with your spouse about the…
I can't express anger. That's one of the problems I have. I grow a tumor instead.
Here Woody Allen goes past making a romantic/comedy and goes right into creating a new genre that should be called the neurotic/romance. While it's very comparable to Annie Hall to some degree the two films are very different beasts. While Annie Hall is about looking back on a failed relationship, Manhattan is an honest look at people sabotaging their own love life.
The film is populated by characters that should be unlikable. Their self-obsessed, materialistic and indulge their egos in thinking they are the personification of what New York intellectuals strive to be. Allen of course is able to shoehorn his tried…
Golden era Woody is always a pleasant watch and Manhattan is particularly special. Nicely neurotic and beautifully shot.
"I can't express anger. That's one of the problems I have. I grow a tumor instead."
My favourite Allen movie so far: deliciously self aware, with a stunning opening sequence and a non-crazy Meryl Streep performance.
Two word review: Apple Life
Didn’t dig on this one quite as much as I’d remembered, but this was only my second time seeing Manhattan and I’m often all over the map with Allen’s stuff anyway. Maybe next time. What I will say is that seeing this on a big TV in HD was a revelation. Gordon Willis’s cinematography has to rank in the top 10 of all time.
I wasn't as moved by this as so many other people are, but I found it perfectly enjoyable, and the black and white cinematography is quite beautiful. I enjoyed the ambiguity in the relationships, how Allen doesn't seem to see any of the characters as good or bad, just messed up.
I had thought that Vicky Cristina Barcelona wasn't the return to form for Woody Allen that everyone thought it was, but I'm beginning to think the problem may be that I simply don't like Woody Allen movies. Asides from "Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sex..." (out of which, I liked the Gene Wilder section and that's about it), my enjoyment of Woody Allen's movies seems to be something to do with how close they are to Annie Hall. "Sleepers" was Annie Hall in the future. Curse of the Jade Scorpion was low budget Annie Hall with an absurd age difference between the lead and the love interest and very few laughs.
I absolutely loved Annie Hall and actually…
J'aime beaucoup le cinéma de Woody Allen, et ce Manhattan ne fait pas exception. Sa grande force, c'est les dialogues et ses personnages. Mais ce que j'aime le plus chez lui, c'est sa capacité à aller à l'essentiel. Il a une histoire, une intrigue, et il reste concentré sur celle ci. Il ne vient pas parasiter son récit avec toute autre fioriture, ce qui donne une impression de rythme soutenu malgré de longs plans, de longs dialogues, et d'une mise en scène sobre. C'est la recette Woody Allen, et j'adhère toujours autant. Mon film préféré de cet auteur étant Match Point, on retrouve dans Manhattan comme dans le reste de sa filmo les mêmes thèmes, enjeux, mais travaillés différemment. Cette…
I have a lot to say about this movie but no real time at the moment to say it. I'm planning a big Woody rewatch soon so I'll probably get to it then. For now I'll just mention how tragic I believe this ending to be, with Ike once again running back to the lovely but inappropriate Tracy after his heart is broken by the fickle realities of adulthood. No matter how many times he tries to script his life as a walking, talking metaphor for New York, the city -- and reality in general -- is so much bigger than him that it scares him to death. He has no choice but to retreat into the safety of someone…
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