Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Cinematheque Reviews: Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris + A Special Bonus Best of Woody List

Midnight in Paris, the 42nd film from writer/director/producer/actor/jazz clarinetist/Knicks fan/lapsed Jew/et cetera Allen Stewart Konigsberg, aka Woody Allen comes off as about as close to classic Woody as one can get without actually being classic Woody.  Considering many of the Brooklyn-born bard's recent works (Match Point and Vicky Cristina Barcelona excepted) this is a great great thing indeed.  My review of said film is now up and running over at The Cinematheque.  Please peruse it at your leisure.

Now since I have you all here, and since I do so love making them, how about a list of the best Woody Allen has to offer.  Without further ado, here are my choices for the 20 best Woody Allen films.  As I am sure any good cinephile will notice, many of these come from what is considered the Golden Age of Woody Allen - an era that is usually marked off as being between Annie Hall in 1977 and Crimes and Misdemeanors in 1989 (though some, myself included, would extend it to include Husbands and Wives in 1992, the end of the Mia era).  Anyway, here is the list I already promised you without further ado.

1) Annie Hall
2) Manhattan
3) Hannah and Her Sisters
4) Crimes and Misdemeanors
5) Radio Days
6) Stardust Memories
7) The Purple Rose of Cairo
8) Interiors
9) Husbands and Wives
10) Another Woman
11) Sleeper
12) Midnight in Paris
13) Zelig
14) Everyone Says I Love You
15) Celebrity
16) A Midsummer's Night Sex Comedy
17) Vicky Cristina Barcelona
18) Manhattan Murder Mystery
19) Broadway Danny Rose
20) Deconstructing Harry

[addendum: 09/17/11]  So, going back and looking at past posts, I found that upon the release last year of Woody's You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, I made one of these lists as well.  It is kinda funny that in just about one year, my list of the twenty best Woody Allen films has changed so much.  The top three are still intact, but many others have changed or fallen (or been added) from the list.  C'est la vie.


Jack L said...

I'm really impressed by all the positive reviews for this film. I was ready to brush it off as another of Woody's mediocre films, but now I'm actually looking forward to it.

Great review Kevyn.
And I agree with your ranking of Allen's films. Annie Hall is definitely his best.
I think the worst I've seen of his is Scoop.

Still, I've got a soft spot for his early comedies, such as Bananas, Take The money and Run, Love and Death etc... I think those are hilarious!

MP said...

I'm a big fan of the man and I can't wait to see this one.

I prefer a little bit more Manhattan than Annie Hall just for the somptuous black and white cinematography by Gordon Willis.

Kevyn Knox said...

The thing that, for me, puts Annie Hall on top is how Allen uses pretty much every thing in the cinematic book - flashbacks, animation, voice-over, breaking the 4th wall, subtitled inner thoughts et cetera.

My choice for worst is probably Anything Else or Scoop. I just cannot pick between the two.

And I actually like the earlier funny ones too but other than Sleeper they just don't quite make the top 20.

I would put Midnight in Paris at number 2 for the year so far.

And thanx for the kudos on the review.

Castor said...

Lovely review of Midnight in Paris Kevyn, glad you enjoyed it :)

Kevyn Knox said...

Thanx Castor. I am always happy when I find a Woody like this. Doesn't happen too often as of late.