Woody Allen Wednesdays – Another Woman & Hannah and Her Sisters

Every Wednesday, FM writers Simon Columb and Brogan Morris write two short reviews on Woody Allen films … in the hope of watching all his films over the course of roughly 49 weeks. If you have been watching Woody’s films and want to join in, feel free to comment with short reviews yourself! Next up is Another Woman & Hannah and Her Sisters…

Simon Columb on Another Woman…

Marion Post (Gena Rowlands) didn’t realise she was hated. An upper middle-class intellectual (like many of Woody Allen’s characters), she’s a professor of Philosophy who overhears a neighbour (Mia Farrow) revealing her private life to a psychiatrist. Self-disciplined and successful, Marion should be considered an inspiration – but alas, she lacks passion. Her husband (Ian Holm) mocks the idea of sex on the floorboards and the potential lover (Gene Hackman) that got away was rebuffed despite a mutual attraction. Bearing similarities to his latest film, Blue Jasmine, our female, central-character goes through a crisis – yet Another Woman resolutely builds her up as a strong, dominant woman. The tragedy is how, despite such bold characteristics, she is flawed by her well-planned, ordered goals. Her narration is matter-of-fact and purposefully specific and therein lays the rub. As enlightening as the story may be – Marion is a tad boring dragging the film behind.

Simon Columb

Brogan Morris on Hannah and Her Sisters…

Telling tales of wildly differing characters and firing off in so many different directions, Hannah and Her Sisters probably works far better than it should. Hannah (Mia Farrow) is married to Elliot (Michael Caine), who’s in love with Hannah’s sister Lee (Barbara Hershey), while their sister Holly (Dianne Wiest) looks for her creative calling and Hannah’s ex-husband Mickey (Woody Allen) enters a personal odyssey following a health scare. Wiest’s capricious, insecure Holly is one of Woody’s more interesting creations, as is hypochondriac Mickey, who outlines the film’s sharp observations on mortality and the search for meaning with only a hint of classic, biting Woody Allen humour. The film is one of Allen’s more accomplished dramas for appearing so honest and personal, and its patchy mix of flashbacks and overlapping storylines gels more coherently thanks to the existential glue with which Allen fixes his pieces together.

Brogan Morris – Lover of film, writer of words, pretentious beyond belief. Thinks Scorsese and Kubrick are the kings of cinema, but PT Anderson and David Fincher are the young princes. Follow Brogan on Twitter if you can take shameless self-promotion.

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