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Hannah And Her Sisters
review by Zach B.
Running Time: 107 minutes
Starring Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Michael Caine,
Barbara Hershey, Dianne Wiest, Lloyd Nolan, Max Von Sydow,
Written and Directed by Woody Allen
Retail Price: $19.98
Features: Theatrical Trailer, Collectible Booklet
Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Mono,
French Mono, Spanish Mono, English Subtitles, French
Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, English Closed Captions, Scene
Selections (16 Scenes)
Released: November 6th, 2001
Also part of The Woody Allen Collection 3
Yes! "Hannah And Her Sisters" is finally on DVD. Probably
one of my favorite Allen film, if not my absolute favorite,
it sure ranks in the top three in my book. A true triumph
and nominated for seven Oscars®, winning three (for
Allen's screenplay, Caine's performance and Wiest's
performance), Allen's knack for getting on people's
insights, obsessions and desire for happiness is perfectly
featured in "Hannah And Her Sisters."
The plot of "Hannah And Her Sisters" is all topsy turvy.
We meet Hannah (Mia Farrow), who's a famous actress and
seems to be perfect. She's a great wife, mother and seems to
have it all. Hannah is also the key force that guides her
family, most notably her two sisters who are like lost
souls: Lee (Barbara Hershey) and Holly (Diane Wiest).
They're all the children of show-biz parents. However,
Hannah's world starts to crash down when her husband Elliot
(Michael Caine) falls for Lee, Lee leaves her cold husband
Frederick, Holly meets Mickey who happens to be Hannah's
ex-husband. As relationships go all over the place and are
all interconnected, we learn that Hannah isn't as perfect as
she seems and she starts to go on a journey of
Again, "Hannah And Her Sisters" is one of Allen's best
triumphs in the cinema. His directing and pacing is rather
good here, as he sets an even as well as nice flow to the
relationships. We hear the characters' personal thoughts and
he builds the relationships with nice touches and scenes.
Yet while some may be his directing in that, it's truly more
of his brilliant, flalwless writing. The relationships are
really great, and so are the characters, a usual Allen
charm. Interesting characters and their desires make this
movie go around and around. Their thoughts and feelings work
well as well as their weaknesses. Not to mention the
overflowing brilliant dialogue. You just have to see
"Hannah" to get it all.
The performances in the film are really noteworthy. Allen
is his usual neurotic self, while Mia Farrow is perfect as
the strong willed Hannah who realizes her insecurities
slowly throughout the movie. Sydow as the cold Frederick is
fine in his smaller role, but the standouts are the
Oscar® winners and one more who was worthy of a nod.
Caine's role as Elliot is one of his best for sure and one
of my favorites. He knows how to play him who is conflicted
that his passion is supposed to overcome what's right and
wrong. His mannerisms for the part are great. Wiest as Holly
is fun and captures her insecuirities. And then there is
Barbara Hershey as Lee, who is everything Elliot dreams
about. She's really great too.
For romance, comedy and brilliant writing with real, true
insight, you can't go wrong with "Hannah And Her Sisters."
It's worth it for anyone's collection in my opinion, but if
you've never seen it, go rush out right now and get it!
The anamorphic widescreen transfer in the aspect ratio of
1.85:1 is pretty good. Blemishes, pieces of dirt and
scratches are on the print, but are never really that
annoying. There is also some shimmering now and then too.
Color saturation could have been better, but there is some
fine detail. Still, what makes this transfer rather annoying
is the grain and fuzziness. It could have been worse, but
Allen doesn't care. This movie deserves better treatment.
English, Spanish and French two channel mono tracks are
included on the release. Just how Allen likes it. Fidelity
could have been a notch higher, but it's good for what it
is. The music serves well as a backdrop, while the dialogue
is clear and easy to hear. No distortion or hiss either. It
suits the movie well, just as most Allen films do since
they're so dialogue driven. Also included are English closed
captions , English subtitles, French subtitles and Spanish
We have the non-anamorphic widescreen (BOO!)
Theatrical Trailer and the usual collectible booklet
which is really informative.
"Hannah And Her Sisters" is a must see film. Allen's
screenplay is magnificent, the cast is fabulous and it's a
great, even and well rounded movie that gives us a peek into
some of Allen's thoughts. Rent it for sure, but if you love
the movie as much as me, go pick it up.
(4.5/5 - NOT included in
NOT an average)