MOVIE REVIEW: Woody Allen: A Documentary

By Keeva Stratton

'An exceptional documentary about an exceptional talent'

"An exceptional documentary about an exceptional talent"

Few filmmakers have divided audiences quite as much as Woody Allen - often, he’s either considered a rare genius or a tiresome neurotic, with little middle ground.

Either way, his body of work over his now 40-year career is truly remarkable in itself, and the fact that he continues to make on average a film a year (as a man in his seventies), is perhaps even more astonishing.

For me, Woody Allen is a genius and a rare filmmaking talent, a fitting subject for an enthralling documentary that was a pleasure to watch.

Starting back when Woody was a young comic making appearances in Brooklyn clubs, the documentary looks at the different periods in his career, the various women that inspired him, and his long-held obsession with death.

A comic who didn’t fit comfortably in the stand-up circuit, his understated routines with cutting wit and self-deprecating humour required time for audiences to really appreciate, but through a string of television appearances, he eventually won his chance to write (and star) in his first film.

Not happy with the changes that the director made to his script, Woody vowed to only make his own films from then on in.

That momentous turning point occurred in 1965, and since then, Woody Allen has written and directed nearly 50 films. Some box-office hits, others dreadful misses; but each with a quality of writing that is to be admired.

The documentary is told through Woody, his sister, colleagues, actors and friends.

It shows clips from many of his films that are as funny, joyous or simply clever today as they were when they were first screened. I laughed, I cried and I was simply in awe of the privilege of gaining insight into the life of one of my creative heroes.

An exceptional documentary about an exceptional talent - flawless.

Directed by: Robert B. Weide Starring: Woody Allen Rating: TBC Runtime: 113mins Reviewer rating: 10/10

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