Hannah And Her Sisters (1986)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  

USA, 1986.  Orion Pictures, .  Screenplay by Woody Allen.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1986Boston Film Critics Awards 1986.   Golden Globe Awards 1986National Board of Review Awards 1986.   New York Film Critics Awards 1986.

The masterpiece in the Woody Allen oeuvre is this fascinating examination of sibling relationships. Hannah ( in a standout performance) is a generous and caring wife (to ) and mother who makes herself available to everyone in her family no matter what their needs are. Lee () is in an empty relationship with a much older man () and trying to figure out what to do when Caine announces he’s madly in love with her. Youngest sister Holly () has frustrations and insecurities that stem from her inability to decide what to do with her life. These characters, plus the girls’ parents (Lloyd Nolan, Farrow’s mother ), Hannah’s hypochondriac ex-husband (Allen), Holly’s best friend () and love interest (Sam Waterston) are all perfectly balanced by the master’s platinum-quality screenplay and terrific direction. The bittersweet relationships play out to a more than satisfying finale and the performances (particularly Oscar winning Wiest) all sparkle. At the heart of it, though, is Allen’s subtle and intuitive understanding of the push-and-pull dynamics that guide these three women and how they relate to each other. Along with Crimes and Misdemeanors, this is as good as our sly nebbish gets.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s