Considered to be "Woody Allen's breakthrough movie" (Time), Annie Hall won four Oscars®* including Best Picture and established Allen as the premier auteur filmmaker. Thought by many critics to be Allen's magnum opus, Annie Hall confirmed that Allen had "completed the journey from comic to humorist, from comedy writer to wit [and] from inventive moviemaker to creative artist" (Saturday Review).
Alvy Singer (Allen) is one of Manhattan's most brilliant comedians, but when it comes to romance, his delivery needs a little work. Introduced by his best friend, Rob (Tony Roberts), Alvy falls in love with the ditzy but delightful nightclub singer Annie Hall (Diane Keaton). When Alvy's own insecurities sabotage the affair, Annie is forced to leave Alvy for a new life – and lover (Paul Simon) – in Los Angeles. Knowing he may have lost Annie forever, Alvy's willing to go to any lengths – even driving L.A.'s freeways – to recapture the only thing that ever mattered...true love.
*1977: Best Picture, Actress (Diane Keaton), Directing, Original Screenplay.
Cast & Crew
Personal as the story he is telling may be, what separates this film from Allen's own past work and most other recent comedy is its general believability.
A touching and hilarious love story that is Allen's most three-dimensional film to date.
Visually and structurally it's a mess, but many of the situations are genuinely clever, and there are plenty of memorable gags.
There will be discussion about what points in the film coincide with the lives of its two stars, but this, I think, is to detract from and trivialize the achievement of the film, which, at last, puts Woody in the league with the best directors we have.
Watching it again, 25 years after its April 1977 premiere, I am astonished by how scene after scene has an instant familiarity.