15 October 2009

54. Manhattan

The photo essay at the beginning, besides being beautiful, sets up (via voiceover) our character and setting: we're dealing with someone indecisive who idolizes intangible things, and he lives in and loves New York.

Now, the meat comes in the next scene. He's 42 and in a relationship with a 17 year old girl. This is played straight with little emphasis on it being illegal, and mostly focusing on him using their age difference to convince her that they should break up.

His best friend is having an affair. We met her at 15 minutes in, and she's the dissenting opinion. She slowly grows on him, and he gets with her. He crushes his teenage lover in a sofa fountain shop (an irony setting) and thus begins their short love affair.

But she's indecisive as well, as is the Yale, the man she was having an affair with. For the first time, Isaac wants to be with someone, but she doesn't want to be with him. And so, having no other options, he tries to return to the teenager, but she's off to London. And then we get a coda, a repeat of the beginning montage of beautiful New York.

It's actually more complex than my scant summary, but it is, like John Gardner said, "sophistication that lies beyond simplicity." It is a slight tale that is significant for being so contained.

Two main drawbacks about the writing: Allen's dialogue isn't ever as clever as he thinks it is, and even when it is, his punchlines never seem to fit the narrative and stick out like a stand-up comedian punching up a script. Also, the movie starts out with Isaac beginning a book. We see him quit his job impulsively to write the book, but the very idea of him finishing is absurd and it becomes a MacGuffin. Remember: gun in first act has to go off in the third act. And this one doesn't.

Two other drawbacks: Allen has thankfully learned, over time, that he shouldn't act. It's not that he's terrible (there's actually some subtle stuff going on in this movie, especially in the last scene, that I like), but he's relatively one-note and not nearly as charming as he imagines he is. The other thing is that he has Meryl Streep is his movie and hardly uses her. Inexcusable.

Besides the writing, the obvious thing to adore about this film is the cinematography. There's a lot to love here: the graceful dolly shots that allow the actors to do entire scenes in one shot, the amazing 2nd unit work that makes New York look delicious, the fact that when characters are moving apart they are always seen in close-up singles, the wide-angle deep-focus of the static shots. More specifically, look at the movement that's allowed when Isaac comes down the spiral stairs to see Tracy alone on the couch, reading under the light. She "lights up" his otherwise self-obsessed life and gives it a different meaning. Or watch Keaton and Allen in the planetarium, the lighting corresponding to their dialogue, sometimes bright when they are in sync, sometimes dim, backlit or in shadows when they are hesitating, and sometimes, courageously, completely dark.


Blogger Pedro Garcia Millan said...




5:53 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

ninest123 16.03
cheap oakley sunglasses, tiffany jewelry, ugg boots, michael kors outlet, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet, tory burch outlet, oakley sunglasses, jordan shoes, longchamp, louboutin, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, burberry, ugg boots, louboutin outlet, michael kors outlet, michael kors, prada outlet, oakley sunglasses, replica watches, michael kors outlet, nike outlet, tiffany and co, prada handbags, ray ban sunglasses, louboutin shoes, nike air max, louis vuitton outlet, ugg boots, christian louboutin outlet, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet, burberry outlet online, ugg boots, louis vuitton outlet, uggs on sale, oakley sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet, replica watches, chanel handbags, gucci outlet, nike free, michael kors outlet, longchamp outlet, nike air max

8:23 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

kate spade outlet, hogan, coach outlet, michael kors, sac longchamp, nike air max, nike free run uk, ralph lauren pas cher, longchamp pas cher, coach outlet, nike blazer, vans pas cher, nike air max, lululemon, lacoste pas cher, air max, burberry, kate spade handbags, michael kors, mulberry, michael kors, nike free, tn pas cher, true religion jeans, true religion jeans, hollister pas cher, louboutin pas cher, michael kors, abercrombie and fitch, air jordan pas cher, true religion outlet, ray ban uk, sac guess, hollister, oakley pas cher, ralph lauren uk, converse pas cher, replica handbags, north face, air force, true religion jeans, nike roshe, nike roshe run, timberland, new balance pas cher, hermes, vanessa bruno, nike air max, coach purses, ray ban pas cher, north face

8:24 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

mont blanc, lululemon, p90x workout, iphone 5s cases, instyler, nike huarache, louboutin, mcm handbags, iphone 6 plus cases, soccer jerseys, ralph lauren, ghd, north face outlet, ferragamo shoes, abercrombie and fitch, jimmy choo shoes, herve leger, wedding dresses, valentino shoes, hollister, vans shoes, chi flat iron, iphone 6s cases, nike air max, nfl jerseys, mac cosmetics, iphone 6 cases, iphone cases, nike roshe, hollister, beats by dre, birkin bag, longchamp, insanity workout, reebok shoes, nike air max, hollister, north face outlet, baseball bats, babyliss, celine handbags, new balance, s5 cases, asics running shoes, soccer shoes, bottega veneta, iphone 6s plus cases, ipad cases, oakley, nike trainers, timberland boots, giuseppe zanotti

8:26 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

hollister, moncler, barbour, coach outlet, pandora charms, moncler, moncler outlet, moncler, ugg boots uk, wedding dresses, sac louis vuitton pas cher, canada goose, moncler, ray ban, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, links of london, louis vuitton, doudoune canada goose, converse, canada goose, pandora charms, swarovski, karen millen, canada goose outlet, replica watches, thomas sabo, pandora jewelry, swarovski crystal, barbour jackets, bottes ugg, pandora jewelry, canada goose, vans, montre pas cher, converse outlet, louis vuitton, juicy couture outlet, canada goose uk, juicy couture outlet, moncler, marc jacobs, gucci, canada goose, moncler, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, supra shoes, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, louis vuitton, moncler, toms shoes, lancel, ugg pas cher
ninest123 16.03

8:27 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


10:30 AM  
Blogger dalia alaa said...


1:02 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


12:37 AM  
Blogger نوران عمرو said...

I definitely love this site

11:21 PM  
Blogger lamiss ibrahim said...

I definitely love this site.

12:32 PM  
Blogger lamiss ibrahim said...

I definitely love this site.

12:33 PM  
Blogger omar ail said...

Your site is very helpful

7:15 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home