Monday, July 22, 2013

Manhattan (1979)

A divorced New York writer (Woody Allen) finds himself caught between his 17-year-old girlfriend (Mariel Hemingway) and his friend's mistress (Diane Keaton).

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I know everyone loves to goo all over the opening of Manhattan (when you’ve got Gershwin laid over beautiful Gordon Willis photography it’s kind of hard not to) but for me the film is really all about Tracy’s final line and Isaac’s reaction to it. Yes the film is funny, and yes the film is beautiful, but it’s that perfect ending which makes this film transcendent. Everything comes together beautifully: the music, the acting, the writing, the photography, etc. I don’t think I’m overstating anything when I say this is a small miracle, as great endings are so hard to get right. I’ve seen so many potentially great films crash and burn while coming in for a landing. Sometimes I’ll even get nervous as I sense things coming to a close. Will they get it right? When they don’t, it’s heartbreaking. But when they get it right, it’s something you want to tell the whole world about.

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