Woody Allen, the director/writer/actor who works at the frenetic rate of a man half his age (75), is back to our screens this Friday with You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, and word that another of his recent projects, Midnight in Paris will be opening the 64th Cannes Film Festival. To celebrate the maestro of pessimistic gloom, we’ve gone through some of Allen’s past works and picked out five of his best films (a rather thankless task for many reasons..) with a particularly brilliant scene from each.
After a few duds on the CV – lets all forget about Cassandra’s Dream, it never happened – Allen came back in 2008 with the brilliantly funny VCB. The stand-out moments of the film came from Penelope Cruz who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Maria Elena as she wreaked havoc – and a spot of lesbianism – upon the love triangle of Javier Bardem, Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall.
Woody Allen is known for giving as much attention to the cities of his films as the characters, whether it be London, Barcelona or Paris. But his biggest love of all? New York. So what better way to show this than to give you all a gander at the opening scene of Manhattan?
Although Hannah and Her Sisters plays into the same themes as a lot of his other efforts, it is the cast that really makes the film shine. With Michael Caine and Dianne Wiest winning Oscars in the Best Supporting Actor/Actress categories and Allen winning for Best Screenplay, it is no surprise that Hannah and Her Sisters has been one of the film-maker’s highest-grossing box office successes.
Known as one of his first ‘funnies’, Love and Death found Allen casting himself as Boris, a peasant in Russia during a Napoleonic invasion. Filled with ridiculous physical comedy and a constant stream of one-liners, Love and Death is seen as a favourite amongst Woody Allen fans.
It’s a given that any list compiled of Woody Allen best bits will always involve Annie Hall. With Diane Keaton starring as the leading lady who is adored by Alvy Singer (Allen), it charts the highs and lows of relationships with insightful anecdotes. But the most insightful of them all? Never do cocaine with Woody Allen; see below.