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Woody Allen’s “Manhattan”

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  • Tariq Khan
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    #188493


    Woody Allen’s “Manhattan” (1979) received Oscar nominations
    for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Mariel Hemingway.


    A few questions for you…


    1.      Do you feel that it should have been a contender
    for Best Picture and/or Best Director? If so, why did it miss?


    2.      How do you feel about Hemingway’s performance?
    Worthy of an Oscar nomination?


    3.      Did Diane Keaton deserve a nomination? Would you
    consider her leading or supporting in the film?


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    Jake
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    #188495

    1. I’m surprised it wasn’t. Maybe voters got fed up with how Woody didn’t show any appreciation for how “Annie Hall” won almost everything 2 years earlier. He’s always easy pick for Original Screenplay – impressive 3 wins out 16 nominations but for either BP or BD it was always harder for him. He only got nominated there again for “Hannah and Her Sisters” and “Midnight in Paris”.

    2. Field wasn’t that strong and perhaps that’s why Hemingway got in with that ok performance. It was more our perception of Tracy as moral compass of the story and nicely touching crying scene when Woody breaks up with her than her performance throughout entire movie.

    3. I would consider Keaton leading and she would be a worthy nominee – after comedic turn on “Annie Hall” and dramatic on “Interiors” she got somehow in the middle with this performance. Woody got the best performances out of her and one has to wonder how his and Diane’s 80s filmographies would look like if he wouldn’t hook up with Mia Farrow. 

    I’m actually more shocked that the film didn’t receive any craft nominations. It’s one of the most beautiful movies ever filmed, NY certainly has never looked better on big screen. 

    BAFTA loved it way more and deservingly so – 2 wins out of 10 nominations:
    Best Film – WINNER
    Best Director – Woody Allen
    Best Screenplay – Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman – WINNER 
    Best Actress – Diane Keaton
    Best Actor – Woody Allen
    Best Supporting Actress – Mariel Hemingway
    Best Supporting Actress – Meryl Streep
    Best Cinematography – Gordon Willis
    Best Editing – Susan E. Morse
    Best Sound – James Sabat, Dan Sable, Jack Higgins

    All of them, especially Willis, would be very worthy nominees with the exception of Streep who had better performance in “Kramer vs. Kramer” (apparently there was a possibility that she might get Best Actress nomination for that and then another one for supporting here). Adding to the fact that Golden Globes snubbed the film entirely, it looks like Europe liked Woody’s films more than US already back then and not only now. 

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    Anthony
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    #188496

    1.  I think that it could be said that based on the majority of the reviews and precursor attention it received that it seemed like it had a better chance of slipping in but Norma Rae slid in and then All That Jazz had that late surge. Frankly, I should probably view the film again because I personally wasn’t the biggest fan of it aside from how beautiful the film looked. Woody Allen himself has also stated how much he hated the film and was embarrased by it….and yet he also thinks Match Point and Vicky Christina Barcelona were among his best work so that is debatable.

    2.      She was fine, and like it was said above, it wasn’t the strongest year and I don’t begrudge the nomination…there have been much worse.

    3.      I would be more inclined to say yes than no. I think she would have had a better chance in Supporting to get the nomination but either way, only the nomination would have sufficed.

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    OnTheAisle
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    #188497

    I suspect widely read and well regarded film critic Pauline Kael reigned in the possibility of Academy Award acclaim. As she noted in her review of the film, “What man in his 40s but Woody Allen, could pass off a predilection for teen-agers as a quest for true values?”

    In light of Woody Allen’s assignation and marriage to Mia Farrow’s daughter and then Mariel Hemingway’s recent public revelation of Allen’s invitation for a private trip to Paris following the completion of Manhattan, the issue continues to cast a shadow over one of Allen’s finest efforts.

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    babypook
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    #188498

    Irrespective of it’s reception and whatever the critical response was, I personally LOVE Manhattan, almost as much or perhaps, more than Annie Hall.

    Mariel is ethereal, and plays the only true mature person in the film, inspite of being the ‘young’ one here.

    Manhattan is also beautiful to look at; cinematography, editing, and the craft of the film overall. Woody’s collaborations with Marshall Brickman ranks up there with the best.

    That screenplay and Mariel’s subtle and honest performance were both worthy. A tech nod here or there would also have been deserved. Supporting was a stellar lineup. Streep won that year, her first of four is it? Lol. Barrie and Bergen are both hilarious and deserving, but, imo, Mariel was the best of them. The film didnt have the gravitas or perhaps the topicality of Kramer vs Kramer, and that didnt help things.

    A Best Picture nod? Yes. I would have dropped Normae Rae in a heartbeat to make room for Manhattan. No offense to her many many fans; Field is terrific yes. The film? Not so much imo. Not compared to Woody’s effort.

    Besides, after Annie Hall, the communist spreadthewealth voters likely came into play, the way they usually do. Ha.

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    Etchie
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    #188499

    Re-posting from another thread … IF 2 or more Individual Nominations per Oscar Acting Category were ALLOWED, Then …..

    To disprove the notion that Manhattan is a “Poor Cousin” to Annie Hall, I stumble upon the survey below from The Guardian.

    http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/oct/04/the-10-best-woody-allen-films

    The 10 best Woody Allen films

    We asked readers to vote for their favourite of the director’s films. Here are the results, with contributors making the case for the Woody Allen film that means the most to them  

    Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in Sleeper. Photograph: BFI

    10. Sleeper

    “Allen was a compulsive gag writer; in Sleeper he paid homage to Keaton and co with slapstick and visual gags galore. A giant banana skin, a growing cake mix, a steamroller squashing the President’s nose. It’s full of fantastic ideas that have lived long in the memory (orgasmatron, robot servant and dog…) It’s not much of a satire, but there’s laughs a plenty.” Alfie Hisself

    9. Midnight in Paris

    “A wonderfully imaginative plot, plenty of smart “inside” humor, actors who were successfully pushed far beyond their comfort zones, brilliant cinematography. Hugely entertaining.” Frank Absher

    8. Stardust Memories

    “This much panned work is a tour de force. Hated by critics at the time of its release, it’s nevertheless Woody Allen at the height of his powers – faux-Euro filmmaking at its best. Stardust Memories, like Celebrity from many years later, presents Woody Allen’s view of the public’s odd adoration of the famous. Oh, andthat long shot of Charlotte Rampling near the end…genius.” Tim

    7. Love and Death

    “One of the ‘early, funny ones’, it features the magnificent Diane Keaton in her greatest comedic performance, and shows how much fun Woody could have with Bergman and Dostoevsky before he began to feed on their sombre bits. Its first five minutes include some of the funniest material he ever wrote – and it’s endlessly quotable.” Wieland Schwanebeck

    6. Take the Money and Run

    “I first saw it at Nui Dat (South Vietnam) in 1970. The army projectionist played the reels out of order, but it didn’t seem to matter – there’s nothing like a war to turn the absurd into the everyday. I was an instant fan and bought a bootleg cassette of Allen’s standup while on leave in Vung Tau. I have a DVD I burnt from a VHS I transferred from Betamax recorded off-air in the 80s. I still watch it and and laugh – I quote lines of dialogue as if it were Pete & Dud.” Jim Stewart

    5. Broadway Danny Rose

    “A masterpiece – Allen and Mia Farrow never better together. The scene in the restaurant where Woody vacillates between losing his change from a 20 as he has to flee the pursuing mobsters or being caught has stayed in my memory for years.”Raymond Williams

    “I love the title character, his limitless belief in his clients, his goodness, his charity… What makes the film for me is the look on Danny’s face when Nick tells him that he has found a new agent: Woody is never the greatest actor in his films, but this, for me, is his best acting moment.” Kevin Finn

    4. Hannah and Her Sisters

    “Manhattan aside, it’s Hannah and Her Sisters that most vividly captures a romantic New York to me. It’s a New York that no longer exists, one that still has a bohemian, undeveloped, Top Shop-free SoHo, the musty glory of Pageant Books and Tower Records, and movie theatres where you could actually find a Marx Brothers film. Allen’s trio of complicated sisters are his most vividly and lovingly written female characters: fallible, but not judged harshly for it – the casting was impeccable. And Allen has written, next to Alvy Singer, his best role for himself as well. Everything about this film feels painterly, wistful and wise, splashed in autumnal hues and capturing, in two hours, the last gasp of romantic, contemporary, artistically vibrant New York. It’s also the last film that dodges the bitterness of his later work.” Kara Manning

    3. Crimes and Misdemeanours

    “Woody jettisons the signature adolescent habits of most of his earlier stuff and gives us an honest indictment of the kind of privilege that commits murder with one hand and receives high honors with the other. A tense and morally sound film with genuine gravitas. Allen’s script could be applied to Kissinger, Nixon, Obama and hundreds of others in power who are shielded by their respectability from facing up to their crimes. A quiet masterpiece. Makes most of his other works seem lightweight by comparison.” Keith Harrison

     Diane Keaton and Woody Allen on the set of the Annie Hall.

    2. Annie Hall

    “Annie Hall hits a perfect balance between the anarchic early films and the more introspective works of the eighties, with serious themes but also loads of humour. Christopher Walken’s ‘driving visions’, the ‘what he’s/she’s really thinking’ subtitles, Allen asking passers-by about their sex lives. The chemistry between the two leads has never been bettered and neither has Allen’s performance as a lead actor, except perhaps in Manhattan. But Annie Hall trumps Manhattan because Diane Keaton – the best female Allen interpreter in her greatest role – is equal to Allen in terms of screen time and dialogue. She’s the most completely realised of his female characters, from her ties-and-checks wardrobes to her off-beat remarks. In the rom-com genre, neither the character nor the film has ever been bettered.” Neil Cockburn

    1. Manhattan

    “Of his many, many films, Manhattan stands out as a work that manages to be both a love letter to one of the great cities and a strikingly personal self-portrait. It’s possible to be viewed as both a lightly humorous tragedy and a darkly tragic farce and comes the closest, out of all of Allen’s films, to capturing the outspoken artist’s true opinion of himself.” Christopher Shepler

    “Funny, smart and romantic, Manhattan has got pretty much everything I look for in a Woody Allen film, or any other kind of film for that matter. The black and white cinematography is heart-swellingly beautiful throughout, while Rhapsody In Blue and fireworks combine to create one of the great, iconic openings in movie history. Naturally, Allen viewed the film as a failure, making it feel all the more perfect.” Mahinder Kingra

    “The final scene. Two characters contemplate the end of their relationship against the musical backdrop of a solo violin. The orchestra swells and overwhelms the violin as we simultaneously see the city effortlessly absorb the characters and their relationship. Love in the metropolis has never been so beautifully expressed.” Nigel Challenge

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    KyleBailey
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    #188500

    I actually just watched this movie for the first time a few weeks ago. I thought it was a solid Woody Allen movie of course well written so that nomination was worthy. I would have nominated Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep swaping her win for Kramer (I would also give Christine Lahti the win for And Justice for All). I was pretty meh with Mariel though. I didn’t think she deserved the nomination over Keaton or Streep. As for picture, my personal line up would have been The Jerk, The Rose, Breaking Away, Apocalypse Now, and Alien with And Justice for All and Manhattan just missing the mark but if we had 10 nominees back then then yes I would have nominated it. I was sort of tossing up the lead or supporting question myself but I think all the ladies in that movie share equal screentime so I think they all kind of fit in supporting. Not sure if the score was totally original but if it was I thought that deserved a nomination and the cinematography as well. For director I wouldn’t have nominated him over Francis Ford Coppola (Apocalypse Now), Peter Yates (Breaking Away), Mark Rydell (The Rose), Ridley Scott (Alien), and Carl Reiner (The Jerk) in my personal line up. 

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    RobertPius
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    #188501

    1. I think the Academy didn’t nominate it because he shunned the ceremony when he won for Annie Hall.

    2.  Streep is really the Best Supporting actress in the film. I’ve always found her hate and utter contempt for the Allen character quite funny. (and something she felt in real life too reportedly.)  She was already in the race with Kramer though and Hemmingway was sweet and touching at times. I’ve always felt her change of heart at the end where she decides she really wants to go to school in London and not stay with him was well played. Plus as said before there was no one else. I can’t think of another deserving nominee except for maybe Jessica Lange or the ex-wife from All That Jazz. Golden Globes picked Valerie Harper (Chapter Two) and Kathleen Beller (Promises in the Dark) plus Streep, Candice Bergin and Jane Alexander. Harper gives a strange performance in Chapter Two. Sort of affected and fake. I don’t really remember Beller. 

    3.  I’d put Keaton in lead but wouldn’t nominate her. If I had to change that category I’d put in Shirley MacLaine for Being There in place of either Jill Clayburg or Jane Fonda.
      

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #188502

    I love Woody Allen’s films, but I really don’t like Manhattan.  I never really understood why so many people love it so much.  I think it’s one of his least interesting efforts and not funny at all.  And, of course, one cannot watch the film now and not wince a little at the plot involving a grown man’s romantic relationship with a teenager.  

    Now, my opinion should be taken lightly.  I may be the great Carol Channing, but my opinion is only that of one person.  But Woody actually really dislikes Manhattan as well.
     

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