Annie Hall’s story begins in New York City, as Alvy (Woody Allen) and his friend Rob (Tony Roberts) reflect on the nature of life. Rob brought Annie (Diane Keaton) into Alvy’s life via a tennis match where Alvy’s main concern was being allowed into the club because he was Jewish. The film becomes the story of Annie and Alvy’s affair, weaving in elements of stand-up comedy, barbed observations about sex, love, the differences between New York and Los Angeles, and a very funny scene with lobsters. Nominated for five Academy Awards®*, the film won four, including Best Picture of 1977.
*1977: Best Picture (won), Directing (won), Actor (Allen), Actress (Keaton, won), Writing.
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.