Friday, August 31, 2007

Hannah and Her Sisters

Hannah and Her Sisters is a 1986 romantic comedy which tells the intertwined stories of an extended family, told mostly during a year that begins and ends with a family Thanksgiving dinner. The movie was written and directed by Woody Allen and stars Mia Farrow as Hannah, with Barbara Hershey and Dianne Wiest as her sisters.

The movie's ensemble cast also includes Allen, Michael Caine, Carrie Fisher, Maureen O'Sullivan, Lloyd Nolan, Max von Sydow, and Julie Kavner. Daniel Stern, Lewis Black, Joanna Gleason, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus all have minor roles, as do Tony Roberts and Sam Waterston, whose are uncredited cameo appearances. Several of Farrow's children, including a pre-adolescent Soon-Yi Previn, have credited and uncredited roles, mostly as Thanksgiving extras.

I think I have seen this movie more times than any other. It remains as vital to me today as it did the first time i saw it. Michael Caine's bumbling, ham-fisted Lothario, along with Max von Sydow's crusty and bitter cuckold, stand out with me notably. And I, a fellow hypochondriac nearly run for my computer to look up symptoms of insanity, laughing hysterically when Woody Allen self-diagnosis himself as having a brain tumor due to a temporary hearing loss. And of course, who could miss the inimitable Dianne Wiest, shoveling cocaine and mumbling her endless litanies of insecurity and self-hate while clothing shopping with the always clueless Mia Farrow.
I think, if I were counting, I've now seen this movie at least 15 times.

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