Annie Hall is arguably Woody Allen’s most successful film. Released in 1977, it is written and directed by Allen, who also stars in it. It tells a story about the ups and downs of relationships, told from the perspective of an unusual comedian. A story about a man constantly looking for the loopholes in perfection – who is capable of turning everything into a joke, yet wishes he couldn’t. It’s a story both sad and hysterically funny.
The film is built on dialogue, centering on conversation and monologue. It consists mostly of people simply talking, almost as though the audience is some invisible ghost observing and intruding on the oblivious characters during sometimes intimate conversations.
Annie Hall is a very real film. There is almost a sense that the actors aren’t really actors, just random friendly people one would bump into on the street and strike up an interesting conversation with. The themes explored and the conversations throughout the film are personal, raw, honest and true. These attributes and more are probably why audiences find the film so relatable, and why it remains one of the most popular and loved films to date.
Students who decide to watch this film (we highly recommend it!) would be able to practice narrative tenses and past tenses. They would obviously also be benefiting from listening practice; the conversations throughout the film, as stated earlier, are very real conversations and they almost seem completely unscripted. We recommend this film to students of higher levels: Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate, Pre-Advanced and Advanced. Try not to feel discouraged if you find it difficult to understand initially; if this happens, try to watch it with subtitles in your native language.
We hope you enjoyed reading EC Malta’s very first film review! Expect more of these in the future, and let us know if there’s a specific film you’d like us to review next!