07 August 2012

Film: Hannah And Her Sisters (1986)

Thoughts: I know little of the films of Woody Allen- I've only seen Vicky Cristina Barcelona once and I've sampled others in short bursts though not from start to finish- but I must say, the man is a master of dialogue, and he certainly knows how to make a camera work to the betterment of a scene. That said, there are a few clunky exchanges peppered throughout, but not enough to really bring the film down.

Concerning the lives of a family of upper-class New Yorkians (this IS Woody Allen, what other kinds of people would there be?) and their extended members, the film zeroes in on the eponymous Hannah and her two sisters, played by Mia Farrow, Barbara Hershey and Dianne Wiest respectively. They all give in top notch peformances, as do the extra members populated by the likes of Max Von Sydow, Michael Caine and Mr. Allen himself.

The film deals with the usual Allen archetypes: infidelity, mid-life crises, "high-class" thinking and living, and dissatisfaction in all its forms. Allen works the script well, allowing some awesome one liners to bookend most scenes, delivered in the pithiest, driest manner possible. There's an awesome thread that follows Woody Allen's character trying out various religions in the hopes that they can provide some kind of meaning to his life; one beyond his limited capacity. It is plum material for Allen to dive through with his words, and he does so with relish.

He seems to love using long takes to allow his actors room to breathe, and the performances shine through brightly. I must admit, I was a bit sceptical at first- I'm not one for familial drama/comedies, especially ones laden with neuroses and upper-class first-world problems. But Hannah And Her Sisters grew on me as the film wore on, and I'll freely admit that the happy ending made me well up a little bit- I really wanted to see these various people work through their issues with the minimum of fuss. Not everything needs to be doom and gloom these days, yknow?


No comments:

Post a Comment