Crimes and Misdemeanors

Crimes and Misdemeanors ★★★★½

I literally had no idea, when I started watching this, that I was in for a subtle, visual extravaganza with Nykvist behind the camera. Furthermore, I can't believe that this is only my second Allen film! After watching this film, it seems that Allen is sort of the 70s answer to Kaufman, the same neurotically self-reflective mess, with a lack of the intense meta-filmic elements and depressive bottom line of the former. Crimes and Misdemeanors plays much more like skits of life than slice of life, each one relatable, but in a way that says, "we all do this, let's all admit to being the same flawed human beings". Not one that says, "look at what I'm doing, I'm a pathetic piece of crap". With a coating of nostalgia, and pushed into laughable circumstances. The film lightly strolls between, characterized by its positivity, between pure entertainment and profound commentary on the very essence of our being. Finding a solace in the absurd nature of our existence, internal and external, coming to a conclusion the film tends more towards the profound end of the spectrum. Ending on a note that seems strangely similar to the ending of an episode of Scrubs, but with more weight behind its statement and less of a contrast from the actual subject matter. Most infectious of all, as I figure is often the case with Allen, is his love for the arts, his insistence on paying homage to his predecessors and his inspirations, culminating in a bouillabaisse of celebrating artistry. And all the different kinds of it too, the intense and obsessive kind, of Cliff and the more superficial kind, of Lester. Ultimately saying that art is all around us and has an impact on us in a way whether we realize it or not, and so we have more in common than we may initially think.

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