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Character and Theme-focused Screenplay Analysis

Great Films

Annie Hall: A Screenplay Analysis

Posted by jennine lanouette on Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Annie Hall Film

 

Annie Hall is a very modern romance — a story about a failed relationship that has a happy ending. Whereas a traditional romance has an external outcome (overcoming obstacles to live happily ever after or tragically separated never to be together), the outcome of Annie Hall is internal. Alvie Singer undergoes a long rumination on what went wrong in his relationship with Annie and in the end comes to a place of peace about it. However, in being a rumination, it is inevitably a talky film. Woody Allen makes up for the lack of action with cinematic abstraction: breaking the fourth wall, time traveling characters, materializing a famous person, subtitled thought process, super-imposed double image, split screen between two scenes. All of which is done in service to a character transformation that is very small. Alvie simply goes from not being able to fully value his relationship with Annie to appreciating what being with Annie gave him. In other words, to go from A to B in a story, you don’t have to go far. You just have to go somewhere, and make the journey interesting along the way.

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