Best Picture Winners Part 50 (of 89): Annie Hall


Title: Annie Hall
Year: 1977
Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts
Runtime: 1 hr 33 mins

What It Is: A seminal Woody Allen classic. An exercise in neuroticism. A quintessential study in the art of self-deprecation. With every turn of phrase and wisecrack, Allen’s Alvy Singer presents us numerous also directed) won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. He directs Diane Keaton to a well deserved Oscar win for her role as the titular Miss Hall. There’s no brilliant piece of cinematography as there is in something like Allen’s Manhattan or later work Midnight in Paris. What it thrives on is pure bitterness and truth in love. Its award-winning screenplay is a perfect backbone for this film to live by. Too many great quotes to speak of. A true classic of the romantic comedy genre.

Memorable Quote: Alvy Singer: I don’t want to move to a city where the only cultural advantage is being able to make a right turn on a red light.

Competition: Underrated, The Goodbye Girl is a Neil Simon penned piece that won Richard Dreyfuss an Oscar. The chemistry between him and Marsha Mason is very funny and leads to some really great interactions. Director Herbert Ross had a great year and this is perhaps the weaker of his 2 films. Julia is the story of a lifelong friendship between playwright Lillian Hellman and a rich girl named Julia. As Hellman struggles she receives help from her beau author Dashiell Hammett (played by Jason Robards in a repeat Oscar performance). With that Robards joined Luise Rainer, Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn as repeat winners. The film got 4 acting nominations; winning two (Robards as mentioned and one for Vanessa Redgraves). Redgraves speech was a point of contention for the ceremony. Anne Bancroft and Shirley MacLaine head up The Turning Point the better (to me) of Herbert Ross’ two best picture nominated films. Ballet dancer Mikhail Barysnikov supports (and was nominated for) an Oscar. A battle of family and career where a goal is met and a career catapulted. Very thoughtful and interesting it really shows Ross’ versatility as a director. Last we have Star Wars (Now known as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope). What needs to be said about George Lucas’ magnum opus that has not already been said. It truly changed cinema sweeping all the technical awards because…well…duh! Alex Guiness received a nomination for supporting actor for his turn as Obi-Wan Kenobi and George Lucas got a nom for his script writing (what happened there, George)?

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