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Hannah and her Sisters

Woody Allen • 1986

I came in with high hopes: I like Allen's ouevre and this was supposed to be one of his best.

And there were parts that I really liked: I thought Allen's self-insert narrative was sort of silly and sweet, I thought the dynamic between the three sisters was vivid and real, and I thought the thesis of the film — the titular Hannah being the person to whom we're afforded the least interiority despite her having a lion's share of grief — was clever and interesting and, given a generous eye, an interesting inversion of the "model sitcom mom" trope so prevalent in the eighties. (Ah, and the music was good.)

But — and maybe it is unfair to say this, to view this film through a 2020 lens — parts of it were just gross! I can ignore the foreshadowing of Allen writing about a man who leaves his wife for a family member, sure, but everything Michael Caine touched in this movie felt despicable. I am okay with him portraying a flawed husband, but his chemistry with every single other character feels pained and alien, and his perspective affords no sympathy.

If I wanted a vaguely misogynist and beautiful film, I'd watch Midnight in Paris; if I wanted something sweet and a little mournful, I'd rewatch Radio Days. I have no desire to re-mine this movie.

9/6/2020
✭✭
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© 2022 Justin Duke • I hope you're wearing your favorite sweater.