Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Best Actor 1977: Woody Allen in Annie Hall

Woody Allen received his only acting Oscar nomination for portraying Alvy Singer in Annie Hall.

Annie Hall I find is a fine yet very much overrated Woody Allen comedy. It certainly has some very good moments but I think overall it is not quite as special as some make it out to be.

Does Woody Allen exactly act in the usual sense, well not exactly. I have not watched any of his directed film where he has taken on a character and really become them. I always feel he plays character in these films that are a variation of sorts on himself. He always keeps his mannerisms, and his style of joke making for these performances. Some of them might have another facet that is added or made more extreme such as he is obsessed with death in Hannah and Her Sisters, but he is does not exactly not care about it in this film. Due to this he never does create a fully original character in his films. He did the very first time he played a part like this but never once after this.

I must say though that this particular variation works better than some for a few reasons. The number reasons is it is very similar to himself, therefore he does not even to attempt to act like he is a different character. Since Alvy is just seems to be a slightly less successful version of Allen, Allen's performance works better than if he was suppose to be someone else. His usual routine does work well for the film, and his usual shtick is better here than it is in some of his films. I think Alvy as a character does work out better for Allen and although I still believe it is completely his usual persona he does invest much more in Alvy than many of the other slight variations on this character.

He and Diane Keaton do work well to make an interesting relationship, and he never makes it so his personality overwhelms any of the true heart from the relationship. They do work well to make an interesting and different relationship which is helped along by Allen's particular creative flourishes throughout the film. I think Allen does a better job here working with his wise cracks to add to his character, rather than let them simply control his character as they do in many of his other films. Now his performance is not really original, since Alvy is not an original character, but this is probably Allen best version of this character, since his jokes are a bit funnier, his jokes work better with this character since he is suppose to be a comedian and he does adds a little more depth to this version of the character do to the relationship between Alvy and Annie.


Anonymous said...

ha, I'm surprised because I thought for sure you would go higher - but I agree.

dinasztie said...

I love this performance. He would probably even get my vote. I can't wait to read your thoughts on Burton.

joe burns said...

I love the movie, but I have to agree. He did a terrific job, but really, this isn't an acting performance, well it is, but he deserved to be honored with a screenplay, and directing award, which he did.

What did you think Keaton?

Anonymous said...

This was not an impressive performance at all, like you said, he was doing a small variation of what he always does. Definitely NOT worth an Academy Award nomination, but I guess it was a weak year for the category.