Greatest Movies Through 1960

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Archive for January, 1879

Manhattan (1979) Woody Allen

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1879

96 mins – rated R – view video trailer

Director: Woody Allen

Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemingway

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

IMDB 8.0 / Amazon 4.2 / Tomatometer 98% / 92%

Oscars: nominated for 2, won 0

The life of a divorced television writer dating a teenage girl is further complicated when he falls in love with his best friend’s mistress. IMDB 8.0 rating from over 88327 users

“Manhattan” is best explained as a convoluted series of wrecked and ruined relationships centering around Allen’s character, Isaac Davis. Isaac is divorced from Jill (Meryl Streep), who is now living with Connie (Karen Ludwig), and planning to write an expose on her marriage. Isaac is having an affair with 17-year-old Tracy (Mariel Hemingway), but then he meets Mary (Diane Keaton), the mistress of his best friend Yale (Michael Murphy), who is married to Emily (Anne Byrne). Ultimately, however, this is not a film about love, but rather a film about loss, because you just know that forced to make choices, Isaac is going to make the wrong ones. Tracy and Mary are characters constructed as such polar opposites and it never dawns on Isaac to focus more on what each has than on what they lack. Amazon 4.2 stars from over 277 users

Considered “one of Allen’s most enduring accomplishments” (Boxoffice), Manhattan is a wry, touching and finely rendered portrait of modern relationships against the backdrop of urban alienation. Sumptuously photographed in black and white (Allen’s first film in that format) and accompanied by a magnificent Gershwin score, Woody Allen’s aesthetic triumph is a “prismatic portrait of a time and a place that may be studied decades hence” (Time). 42-year-old Manhattan native Isaac Davis (Allen) has a job he hates, a seventeen-year-old girlfriend, Tracy (Mariel Hemingway), he doesn’t love and a lesbian ex-wife, Jill (Meryl Streep), who’s writing a tell-all book about their marriage and whom he’d like to strangle. But when he meets his best friend’s sexy intellectual mistress, Mary (Diane Keaton), Isaac falls head over heels in lust! Leaving Tracy, bedding Mary and quitting his job are just the beginning of Isaac’s quest for romance and fulfillment in a city where sex is as intimate as a handshake and the gateway to true love is a revolving door. Amazon

On the heels of Annie Hall, the Oscar-winning romantic comedy that rocketed Woody Allen to the front ranks of American filmmakers, Manhattan continued Allen’s romantic obsessions in a slightly darker, more pessimistic vein. Rotten Tomatoes 98% / 92% audience

MRQE 88% over 36 reviews / Madison Public Library

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNiIMhC8oII]
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