Blu-ray Manhattan [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray 15879097),
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Manhattan [Blu-ray]

  • R
  • Blu-ray
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • Woody Allen finished his first decade of filmmaking, the 1970s, with one of his greatest and most deliberately artistic films, the love song to his home city MANHATTAN. Allen plays Isaac Davis, another one of his thinly veiled self-portraits, who finds himself suffering from a mid-life crisis. Unhappy in his career as a variety show comedy writer and newly divorced from a woman who has since come out as a lesbian, Isaac waffles between two relationships: that with emotionally honest and open, but far too young, Tracy (Mariel Hemingway in an Academy Award nominated performance) and with pseudo-intellectual, neurotic Mary (Diane Keaton). Allen uses these two women to contrast the naivet and lack of pretension of youth with the growing cynicism of middle age.

    Although the acting and writing is some of the sharpest of Allen's filmmaking career, what is truly memorable and endearing about MANHATTAN is its romantic view of New York. Whereas the character relationships in the film are largely dysfunctional and fueled by a vision of perfection, by contrast the city itself is envisioned by Allen as an object of perfection. In order to create aesthetically pleasing images of the city, Allen and his longtime cinematographer Gordon Willis decided to shoot the film in black and white and in the 2.35:1 widescreen ratio, the first time that Allen had used either format. The images are backed by the songs of quintessential New York composer George Gershwin, setting a tone of romanticism and grandeur that underlies Isaac's (and Allen's) inherent dissatisfaction with the mundane aspects of his life. The magnificence of the city of New York is the backdrop to the search for a similar splendor in human relationships in MANHATTAN.
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  • Credits
    Woody Allen, Allan Stewart Konigsberg, Diane Keaton, Diane Hall, Mariel Hemingway, Meryl Streep, Mary Louise Streep, Michael Murphy, Anne Byrne, Karen Ludwig, Michael O'Donoghue
  • Critic Reviews
    "...Woody Allen never seems to tire of topping himself....An irresistible yarn of personal relationships that draws skillfully on the best comic moments of ANNIE HALL and the raw emotions he portrayed in his last picture INTERIORS..."
    Variety

    "Defining, dry Woody Allen paean to New York City..."
    Total Film

    "[P]iquant, perceptive and plain funny..."
    Uncut

    "The Gershwin-laden soundtrack is sumptuous and the black-and-white cinematography by Gordon Willis is dazzling..."
    Premiere

    "...Luminous camerawork....The film is intricately patterned with street dolly shots, high angles and static medium shots..."
    Sight and Sound

    "...A breathtaking hymn to the idea of being in love in Manhattan....This is one of the best-photographed movies ever made..."
    Chicago Sun-Times

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