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Hannah and Her Sisters

Review Written by: Estefan Ellison
Film: A
Video/Audio/Extras: A-/B+/F

Directed by: Woody Allen
Written by: Woody Allen
Produced by: Robert Greenhut
Starring: Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, Barbara Hershey, Michael Caine, Woody Allen
Buy it!, Buy it, rent it or skip it: Buy it

I have constantly enjoyed watching Woody Allen's films since I first saw Annie Hall many years ago. He excels incredibly both as a writer and a director and he has the ability of rounding up some impressive ensemble casts. Whether he is in the film or not, or whether Diane Keaton is his love interest or not, his films remain incredibly engaging. His comedies make you laugh, while his dramas make you think for a long time about life. He has been critised many times for his recent work, but I believe he still remains fairly consistant throughout the years. Annie Hall and Crimes and Misdeamenors are without a doubt the greatest films in his filmography, but his Hannah and Her Sisters is just as much a delight. It features the usual witty Woody quips and a fascinating group of actors.

The title Hannah, played by Mia Farrow, is the only character in the film who is not dysfunctional, so Allen puts more attention on her two sisters. Holly (Dianne Wiest, in an Academy Award-winning performance) is a drug addict who is looking for a new man to love. Finally, Lee (Barbara Hershey) begins to have an affair with Elliot (Michael Caine, who also won a supporting Oscar), Hannah's husband. Meanwhile, a television producer (Woody Alllen) fears that he has a deadly disease and decides to try and find himself a new religion, which naturally upsets his parents.

As per usual, Allen provides an incredible screenplay and a wonderful direction, coupled together with great performances. Dianne Wiest and Michael Caine are the highlights of the film, whose Oscars were certainly deserved. Hershey and Farrow are also great, but are outshune by their co-stars. Allen, meanwhile, provides the comic relief of the film and Carrie Fisher and Sam Waterston are very good in their small appearances as Holly's former friend and her boyfriend. Even smaller apperances come from future stars John Turturro (playing a very Barton Fink-type character) and Julia Louis Dreyfuss.

Much like other Woody Allen DVDs, only a trailer is provided, due to the man's huge dislike of extras. Due to that, don't expect a special edition in the future and just buy Hannah and Her Sisters, especially if you're a fun of the neurotic director. It's one of his best works and a wonderful character piece, which MGM has at least given a great transfer to.

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