Woody Allen combined the best parts of his earlier films in creating HANNAH AND HER SISTERS, his 1986 masterwork about the changing relationships among three sisters living in New York City. Hannah (Mia Farrow) has put her acting career aside in order to take care of her family with second husband Elliot (Michael Caine in an Oscar-winning performance). Elliot has fallen in love with Hannah's sister Lee (Barbara Hershey), who herself is feeling suffocated by her cynical, mean-spirited loner of a lover, played with great intensity by Ingmar Bergman regular Max von Sydow. Meanwhile, third sister Holly (Oscar winnner Dianne Wiest) is struggling to find her own voice, working as a caterer while she tries to get her own acting career going. And in the middle of everything is Mickey (Woody Allen at his most neurotic), a television writer who is divorced from Hannah, has dated Holly, and, when he suspects he might have a brain tumor, decides to reevaluate his life and his faith in God.
HANNAH AND HER SISTERS is Allen's most fully realized, optimistic adult comedy. He won a well-deserved Oscar for his marvelous screenplay, filled with his trademark sharp, witty dialogue, his undying passion for New York (its culture, architecture, music, romance), and some of his most well developed characters. The cast is extraordinary, the music illuminating, the settings magnificent. Taking place over the course of a few Thanksgivings, Allen's insightful, wonderful film is a thoroughly enjoyable mature look at the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of family life.
Academy Awards Best Original Screenplay 1986 Woody Allen Actor/screenwriter/director
Academy Awards Best Supporting Actor 1986 Michael Caine British Actor, ALFIE (1966)
Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress 1986 Dianne Wiest Oscar-winning American actress, BULLETS OVER BROADWAY (1994)