Irish Film Institute -HANNAH AND HER SISTERS



103minutes, U.S.A., 1986, Colour, New 35mm print

This 1986-vintage modern classic brings together everything there is to love about Woody Allen, the cinema’s ultimate New Yorker. For a start, it’s set in the Big Apple – always prime Allen turf – and co-stars Woody himself on close to best form, all one-liners and neuroses as a TV producer who’s just had bad news from the doctor.

What was new here, and in some ways still unsurpassed in his filmography, is the combination of wit and wisdom poured into an ensemble drama for a splendid cast, leaving Oscar-winners Michael Caine and Diane Wiest, plus Barbara Hershey and Max von Sydow, to play out an engrossing saga of wives, lovers and friends whose social interaction never quite allows a release for their true feelings.

The key is that for once Allen allows his cynicism to give way to a warm heart, resulting in an absolute treat of a movie which will continue to claim admirers for generations to come. (Notes by Trevor Johnston.)

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