1977 • Annie Hall

Annie Hall, 1977 Best PictureSunday night, Lauren and I watched the next movie on our Best Picture list, Woody Allen’s most famous movie, Annie Hall. For a while I had been excited to get to this movie.  First of all, it looked like a fun, light-hearted movie.  Secondly, after seeing a friend dress as Annie Hall for Halloween last year, I wanted to see what the fuss was about, because if someone is dressing as a movie character 33 years after its release, it must be worth seeing.  And third, the two who helped inspire this project only made it to Annie Hall before breaking up, thus ending their project.  If Lauren and I can just make it through The Deer Hunter, we’ll have surpassed them!

Annie Hall starts and ends with Woody Allen, who wrote, directed, and starred in the movie, and received Oscar nominations for all three. Allen plays the role of the neurotic Alvy Singer, a popular New York comedian. Diane Keaton stars as the character named Annie Hall, an equally neurotic young lady from Wisconsin who moves to New York and begins dating Alvy. The movie begins with Alvy explaining that he and Annie have broken up, and the rest of the movie is flashbacks to various points in their year together, trying to figure out where they went wrong.

Annie Hall is in all likelihood the shortest of the Best Picture winners, coming in a just over 90 minutes. Just knowing that a movie is only that long makes it all the easier for me to pay attention, knowing the end isn’t far away. It’s also one of the more unusual movies to this point, as Woody Allen often steps out from a scene and looks directly into the camera to explain something.

There are a good share of funny laugh-out-loud moments in Annie Hall. In one scene, some cocaine is being passed around. Alvy asks how much it costs, and is told about $2,000 an ounce, at which point Alvy sneezes into the container, poofing the cocaine into everyone’s faces. In another scene, an annoying man at a movie theater is talking about how he doesn’t approve of the work of media theorist Marshall McLuhan. Alvy then reveals to the man that McLuhan has been hiding behind a movie poster the whole time and now the man must confront him.

I would imagine this movie would be classified as a romantic comedy. Even though the lovebirds break up in the end—or the beginning, as it were—it’s not ever terribly sad.

This movie is loaded with big names in small roles, like Jeff Goldblum, Sigourney Weaver, Christopher Walken, and Paul Simon. Along with Allen and Keaton, it is a pretty good all-around cast of actors.

Overall I enjoyed Annie Hall, though maybe not as much as I thought I would.  It certainly was unlike any other movie to this point in the project. It was the first Woody Allen movie I remember seeing, so maybe that will open me up to some more of his stuff. I think this will easily rank in the upper half.


  1. […] I reviewed the next movie in our Best Picture project, 1977’s Annie Hall. I’m happy to say my Best Picture Review blog is actually picking up some momentum, with […]

  2. Annie Hall, at 93 minutes, was two minutes longer than Marty, which won in 1955. Marty was also the only Best Picture winner to be named winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

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