Yep, Woody pretty much knows it all. Although my absolute favorite of his is Annie Hall (quite easily), around Christmas, there's a movie I just cannot miss and that is...
Hannah and Her Sisters, the bittersweet masterpiece is just the perfect holiday movie. It's a brilliant summary of life, our world as well as the best movie of the eighties (for me). Now I've seen it 8 times (counting the one two hours ago).
The movies chapters all offer different views and perspectives of life that get even richer and richer at each viewing. It's marvelous to me how Woody's brilliance truly unfolds to me over the years, since there are so many aspects of his movies that I become fascinated by. Things that I previously barely noticed or even ignored.
This year, for me, that is the wonderful, stunning visuality of the movie. People so easily ignore the visuality of "small" movies like the ones made by Woody. The cinematography of Carlo Di Palma is just stunning and its best proof is the lunch of the three sisters. The way the camera gazes at the expressions of the sisters combined with the fabulous performances that these three ladies give and the flawless directing is an unforgettable experience.
Hannah's worries, Holly's nervousness and Lee's shame are all perfectly captured. It's like looking into three different souls at the same. Although Dianne Wiest was the one winning the Oscar (and deservedly so, she's my favorite winner in that category), the two other sisters are not less brilliant than she is. Barbara Hershey's performance is incredibly painful, but also uplifting, making her probably the emotional core of the story. Mia Farrow does an amazing job holding the movie together with her character: it's so easy to ignore her merits in the movie, but once you've seen this film many times, you recognise the amazing job that she does here. And no words are necessary to describe Dianne Wiest: she's the one you relate to, the easiest person to love in this whole story, despite playing a neurotic mess. The way Wiest portrays how Holly longs for love is just amazing and makes this character so relatable (her scene in the cab is one of the greatest ones ever made).
Hannah and Her Sisters give us scenes from life tha feel so close and real to what we experience every day. One says you watch a movie to escape reality and to see something different as Haneke says "24 lies per second". But as Woody proves it, it can be "the truth, 24 frames per second", Hannah and Her Sister is a mirror in which we can all observe our lives and what we know and think about this world. And that's the best thing one can get at Christmas or any time of the year.
Happy Holidays once again! :)