“Annie Hall” chronicles the saga of an on-again off-again romantic relationship between neurotic comedian Alvy Singer (Allen) and a slightly ditzy young woman named Annie Hall (Keaton). Their story is told mostly through the eyes of Alvy, who gives an obviously distorted account of his time with Annie, constantly offering the audience his analysis of what is happening on the screen. Although a comedy, “Annie Hall” effectively examines the complicated and painful nature of relationships. As Woody Allen put it, “ I think I will try to make some deeper film, and not be as funny in the same way. And maybe there will be some other values that will emerge that will be interesting or nourishing for the audience. And it worked out very well.”
The success of “Annie Hall” put Woody Allen squarely among Hollywood’s “A” list of filmmakers. Nominated for five Academy Awards, “Annie Hall” took home four Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director (Allen) and Best Performance by an Actress (Keaton). “Annie Hall” is found on seven of The American Film Institute’s (AFI) top 100, including “100 Years…100 Movies(#31) and “100 Years…100 Laughs(#4).
Notes: Some parts of “Annie Hall” were improvised, most notably the scene where Allen’s character sneezes into the mound of cocaine. The sneeze was accidental, but kept in the film when the entire set broke into laughter over it. “Annie Hall” had several working titles, one of which was “Anhedonia” ( a psychoanalytic term for the inability to experience pleasure from normally pleasurable events) but it was considered unmarketable. Although there are similarities between Woody Allen’s character, Alvy Singer and Woody himself, Allen denies that “Annie Hall” is in any way autobiographical.