Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
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This movie is full of great scenes and great performances, but it's all about Woody Allen's monologue at the end, which has to be one of the best in all of cinema.
Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters got four Oscars and certainly features one of his strongest casts, but I didn't fall in love with it. The film follows the lives and loves of the title characters and the men who love them, over the course of a year or two, many of them getting in on the narration. It's well-observed and actor-driven (indeed, a lot of the actors are PLAYING actors), frequently funny, and no surprise, uses New York to full advantage as a location. I suppose what bothered me about it is that it felt strangely unfocused. We spend an inordinate amount of time with Woody Allen's own character, a fidgety TV executive having an existential crisis, and yet, that's where the best comedy comes from and what best delivers the film's theme that life is meant to be lived, and passions meant to be followed. Perhaps what charmed audiences in 1986 was the clash of two different films crashing into each other like that. I'm not saying it doesn't work, only that it didn't quite do it for me. Warning: A couple of very brief moments have aged badly and may make modern audiences cringe; won't get into it, but it's got to do with Allen's later personal life.
As TomServo said, a very great film but Allen's monologue makes this an essential film. Life changing.
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In 8 official lists
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This movie ranks #85 in Golden Globe Best Picture Winners
This movie ranks #285 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown
This movie ranks #355 in Academy Award Best Picture Nominees
This movie ranks #371 in The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made
This movie ranks #414 in TimeOut's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
This movie ranks #443 in Sight and Sound 2012 - Combined List
This movie ranks #537 in They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?
This movie ranks #741 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die