Manhattan

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Manhattan 1Manhattan (1979)

Directed by Woody Allen

Written by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman

Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemingway, Meryl Streep

Middle-aged Isaac (Allen) is divorced and dating a teenage girl in Manhattan. Despite the obvious conflicts, Isaac further complicates life when he falls for Mary (Keaton), his best friend’s mistress. In addition to his relationship issues, he’s also dealing with the uncomfortable relationship he has with his ex-wife (Streep) who’s living with another woman and writing a book about their failed marriage. All of the pressure builds on Isaac as he looks for the solutions to his many problems.

Manhattan 3This witty film was written by Woody Allen (Scoop) and Marshall Brickman (For the Boys). Allen and Brickman eared an Academy Award nomination for the work on the screenplay. Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris) also directed and starred in the movie. Like most of Ahis films, the cast includes a number of big names including Diane Keaton (Marvin’s Room), Mariel Hemingway (Lipstick), and Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada). For Mariel Hemingway this was her second film role, and it earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Manhattan 4Like many of Allen’s films, this is a constant barrage of witty dialogue that plays off of the neurotic characters. The story seems to wander, yet always comes back to the point without losing a sense of purpose. The dialogue is sharp and hilarious from everyone. None of the characters feels less or more important than any of the others. This creates a great balance that is necessary for the story to work as well as it does. The characters have depth and substance that make this story more interesting than most romantic comedies. Overall, this is a wonderful story that plays out nicely on the screen.

Manhattan 5The acting deserves a lot of credit in the success of this film. This film features a nice performance from the young Mariel Hemingway. Her role in the movie is important to the story and she played it perfectly. Woody Allen is equally good in this one. Much like his role in Annie Hall his performance is nervous and agitated and ultimately wonderful. Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep round out the cast nicely. They both do a great job in their roles, and the chemistry is obvious between each of them and Allen. The rest of the cast does nice work in their roles in this one. Overall, great acting from the cast of this movie.

Manhattan 8In Woody Allen’s world, there is hope for the awkward and socially backward. This movie is a great example of that theme, played out with wonderful acting. Like many of his movies, this pushes the audience into a world of uncomfortable situations and emotional decisions. If you’re a fan of Allen or any of the cast, this is one you need to see. I would also suggest this to anyone looking to see a good romantic comedy. I give this one 5 out of 5 stars.

Rating: R

Running Time: 96 Minutes

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8 comments

  1. Not my favorite Woody Allen picture. Yet, there is some startling truth to be found here and there in it. Not to mention that it’s quite beautiful to look at. Good review.

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    1. Thanks for checking it out. I think the appeal in this one for me was the brutal honesty tucked into the story. I’m not sure I’ve seen enough of his work to have a favorite, but this was a good one for sure.

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