Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
"...your slightest look easily will unclose me though I have closed myself as fingers, you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens (touching skilfully,mysteriously) her first rose...(I do not know what it is about you that closes and opens; only something in me understands the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses) nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands."
Woody Allen's script for Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) is a work of art. Apparently, the jurors in the drama division for Pulitzer prize were so impressed that they suggested Woody's screenplay for the prize for drama, and submitted the question to the Pulitzer board of whether there shouldn't be some way to honor film scripts.
This is the story of the three sisters Hannah, Holly and Lee, their parents Evan and Norma, and their husbands, lovers and ex-lovers. The parents are alcoholic debauchees, and the toll it's taken on their children even as adults is apparent.
Hannah's the responsible matronly member of the family, always doing the right thing, helping her sister Holly financially, and by giving her "honest, constructive advise". She's the one her parents call when they need help, and she "gives a very deep feeling of being part of something" even to her cheating husband. However, everyone around her still seem to resent her. She fears that her husband finds her "too competent, too disgustingly perfect" and she may be right.
Holly, a recovering drug addict, is a bundle of nerves. She's hypersensitive, desperately needs validation and resents any judgment especially from her sister Hannah.
Lee has her own confidence issues. She's a former alcoholic, with a boyfriend much older than her, and you suspect that she's with him just because she wants to be his student and learn from him.
Then there's Hannah's husband Elliot who lusts after Holly and her ex- husband Mickey, a hypochondriac who's on a mission to understand the meaning of life.
Every character is well-rounded, and fully formed. The pacing is perfect. The direction, especially the choice of music in many scenes is such that you feel like you're supposed to laugh at the characters and situations, but the performances are so raw and sincere, and the dialogue so realistic that you deeply empathize with the characters.
Woody directs with great assurance, but never brings attention to his direction. Carlo Di Palma's cinematography is impressive. A few scenes like the library scene with Elliot and Lee, and the restaurant scene with the three sisters are extraordinary in the way they've been shot.
The film improves a lot on some reflection and repeat viewings, and I've an inkling this is what Woody must've been aiming for in some of his earlier efforts like Annie Hall and Manhattan. This very well might be the zenith of Woody Allen's career.