Now, I have watched this before and, on the first watch I thought a great film. Now, a second time around I realised that there are not so many jokes as there are in ‘Annie Hall’ – but this is not so much a bad thing. It has to be taken that little bit more seriously.
Everyone is completely flawed – Yale – the cheating husband, Isaac – the paedo–ish guy, Mary – the indecisive broad. Even Tracy is a little naive. Throwing away London for this silly man who, even she should know, is too old for her.
The Gershwin score is awesome – the big band, semi-marching band mixed with the lovely jazz (probably not Gershwin that one…). The great shots – like this mix of conversations with beautiful NYC images. Obviously, the whole section in the planetarium place simply looks stunning. Silhouettes and small highlights – dare I mention Carvaggio or Helmut Newton …
The ambiguous ending … clearly Mary is gone, but does Mary and Yale work out? Did Yale split with the wife? Does Tracy stay … clearly she shouldn’t and I feel that little glance from Woody at the end is trying to say how he is, ultimately, thinking of himself. Take away all the glamour and beauty of NYC, ultimately, he is on his own and alien to the emotions of others – to the point that he is willing to, effectively, destroy someone else’s life purely to make his own loneliness not in vain. Whereas poor Mary – as cerebral as she was – maybe she was simply looking for love and followed her heart more so than her NYC head … then again, she was from Philadelphia. With this in mind, this interesting take on a love story … you cannot help but give ol‘ Woody Allen his credit. I mean, screw the old mans life now. Maybe he did get it on with his adopted child or something … but back in ’79, he made a damn good film and it was relevant and interesting so … there you go!