Crimes and Misdemeanors

Crimes and Misdemeanors ★★★★★

Add this one to the increasing pile of "Woody Allen movies I underrated on first viewing" (it sits beside Deconstructing Harry and Broadway Danny Rose). My main complaint (if you can call it that) the first time was that the "funny" parts weren't as funny as I was expecting them to be, but I don't know if I was expecting them to have Bananas-level hijinks or something, because I laughed often on this viewing (just the great use of movie clips to comment on the actions of both stories alone made me laugh a lot). And the Martin Landau story and the conclusion at the wedding was just as chilling and wonderful (not in the sense of it containing wonder, obviously) as it was the first time. I know people like to complain that Woody has been recycling from this for his recent movies, but if he wants to steal from himself, he might as well steal from the best of his work.

I'd also like to give a shout-out to this movie's unsung hero, editor Susan E. Morse. This could be her finest editing job in her 20-year collaboration with Woody, keeping each segment of each of the two stories long enough that we forget about the other story's existence, but not so long that the audience feels jerked out of it when a segment of the other story starts, just a little surprised and delighted that they're returning to it. And the use of isolated flashbacks, *smacks lips* (I can't help but wonder if that was an inspiration, conscious or unconscious, on the editing of Soderbergh's The Limey, given that Soderbergh is almost as big a fan of Allen as he is of Richard Lester or John Boorman).

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