Hannah And Her Sisters

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(out of 5)

The masterpiece in the  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 (, 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.

USA, 1986

Directed by

Screenplay by Woody Allen

Cinematography by

Produced by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

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Academy Awards
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Michael Caine as “Elliot”)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Dianne Wiest as “Holly”)
Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen) (Woody Allen)

Best Art Direction (art direction: Stuart Wurtzel; Carol Joffe)
Best Director (Woody Allen)
Best Film Editing (Susan E. Morse)
Best Picture (Robert Greenhut, producer)

Golden Globe Award
Best Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Dianne Wiest)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Michael Caine)
Best Director (Woody Allen)
Best Screenplay (Woody Allen)

New York Film Critics Awards
Best Film
Best Supporting Actress (Dianne Wiest)
Best Director (Woody Allen)

Best Screenplay (Woody Allen)

Los Angeles Film Critics Awards
Best Picture
Best Supporting Actress (Dianne Wiest) (tie)
Best Screenplay (Woody Allen)

Best Supporting Actor (Michael Caine)
Best Director (Woody Allen)

National Society of Film Critics Award
Best Supporting Actress (Dianne Wiest)

Best Film
Best Supporting Actress (Barbara Hershey)
Best Screenplay (Woody Allen)

National Board Of Review Awards
Best Supporting Actress (Dianne Wiest)
Best Director (Woody Allen)
Top Ten Films

Writers Guild Award
Best Original Screenplay

Directors Guild Award Nomination
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (Woody Allen)

British Academy Awards
Best Direction (Woody Allen)
Best Screenplay – Original

Best Film
Best Actor (Woody Allen)
Best Actor (Michael Caine)
Best Actress (Mia Farrow)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Barbara Hershey)
Best Editing

Cesar Award Nomination
Best Foreign Film

Boston Film Critics Awards
Best Supporting Actress (Dianne Wiest)
Best Screenplay