Manhattan (1979 – DVD)

I think people should mate for life, like pigeons or Catholics”

Up to this point I’ve seen a few of Woody Allen’s zany early pictures and some of his interesting later films but ironically I’ve only seen a few of his most celebrated mid-career works. So I sat down to watch what must be one of his most famous pictures, 1979’s ‘Manhattan’.  The first thing that strikes you is the stunning Black & White cinematography, all the way through its backlit to moody perfection.  The dialogue retains the punchy Groucho-esque one liners from his earliest films but also the script is more focused, rich and thoughtful. The film follows the mixed up love lives of a group of New-Yorkers amidst the hustle and bustle of Manhattan set to evocative George Gershwin music.  The final romantic revelation sneaks up and socks you in the face and then like Allen’s character, you realise it was obvious all along.  At the end, I was left thinking back on all the scenes and what they meant.  A gorgeous and charming film.

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