Manhattan - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Manhattan Reviews

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September 25, 2016
Always great to see NYC back in the day, as it arouses a certain nostalgia in me. 
Lots of wit and banter, which sometimes seems to be the ultimate ground of the film. 
People driven by self-destructive impulses due to a lack of maturity and direction, which leads to forest fires that they then try to put out with more fire causing a downward spiral of self-absorbed ever-escalating drama.
It was best summed up by Woody Allen's ex-wife in her book telling all of their marriage and divorce. My rendition of it is my own observation. 
And then at the end there's a excellent summation of the lunacy of it all with the great simple wisdom, "It's very important to have some kind of personal integrity." 

The one with the greatest wisdom is the 17-year old played Mariel Hemingway.

Loved hearing of the psychoanalyst that goes into a coma due to a bad acid experience. There were some very funny scenes.  Listening to that and hearing of EST really grounded it in its time. Despite it being a 1979 New York film, it fortunately isn't weighted down with too many references of its time. Also, the deep emotional and behavioral themes it deals with has it be entered into the cinematic annals as a timeless work of art. 

Presenting it in black and white works really well as a nice artistic touch. 
September 4, 2016
Well, petty distractions turned watching this movie into an 8 hour extravaganza of rewinding and replaying, but it delivered despite how I watched it. Woody Allen makes me feel better about life. Always. I love his masterful delivery of moving art, I love his storytelling, I love his depth, I love that I can always relate to him and like him no matter what horrible things people are doing to each other in the movie, and I love that he gives that perspective to acknowledge that people are just people and are going to be fallible but can still be beautiful and loveable and worthy full fledged humans, flaws and all. I loved the movie in its entirety, but as always with me it comes down to the ending being what makes or breaks a movie, and this ending was beautiful. When I'm at my lowest, multiple Woody Allen movies have reminded me that life is still worthwhile, and I'm glad this was one of those. I needed it. It's weird when someone speaks to your soul and you know you'll never get the opportunity to thank them.
August 24, 2016
Essentially Annie Hall 2 but more complex and shot in glorious black and white.
August 13, 2016
Isaac (Woody Allen) is a twice-divorced 42-year old TV screenwriter, dating a 17-year old girl, Tracy (Mariel Hemingway). His best friend is Yale (Michael Murphy) who is married to Emily (Anne Byrne Hoffman) and is having an affair with Mary (Diane Keaton). Isaac finds himself drawn to Mary and when Yale and Mary split up, they start seeing each other. Things seem to be going swimmingly, but...

Okay but not overly engaging, interesting or profound. Really just a romantic-drama, and nothing more. The clever humour which usually typifies Woody Allen movies is very few and far between and what there is generally doesn't quite have the some intelligence and zing as his usual stuff.

So that just leaves it as a drama, and, as mentioned, it's just a romantic drama, so nothing too profound can come from it. There are some decent intrigues to sustain the movie, but that is about it.

The 42-year-old-with-17-year-old was also a bit creepy. This aspect of the movie seemed to be explained well and the issue gotten past, but then the conclusion wrecks that. Very unsatisfactory ending, and undoes a lot of the progress that came before it.

On the plus side, there were some good jabs at the pretentiousness of New York society. The cinematography is great too: filmed in black and white with some wonderful, loving, lingering shots of New York skylines and landmarks.

Can't fault the performances either. Woody Allen does what he does best - playing himself. Diane Keaton is the pick of the bunch as the intelligent, over-analysing, knowingly-beautiful, self-obsessed Mary. Meryl Streep, in only her third feature film (her second was The Deer Hunter), is great in a supporting role.
August 12, 2016
A brilliant romance between New York (Diane Keaton) and Allen, who masterfully portrays both one's natural love for, and natural longing to leave New York City. Allen's use of black and white filming and Rhapsody in Blue in the beginning underscores the idea of people over romanticizing the city, and also explains the unanimous love for New York City. However, just like in his relationship with Tracy (Mariel Hemingway) Allen wants to break away, and move on. A beautiful parallel. Allen also accurately portrays the personality of many New Yorkers.

"Well, I don't get angry, okay? I mean, I have a tendency to internalize. I can't express anger. That's one of the problems I have. I-I grow a tumor instead."
- Woody Allen

As somebody with a father who grew up in New York City, this line couldn't be more accurate. Truly the New Yorker way.

Allen makes few mistakes in this film -- it was very deftly done. Definitely one of my top films of all time.
½ July 25, 2016
I'm starting to doubt my ability to understand what ends cinema is actually supposed to achieve. When films such as Manhattan and Citizen Kane are regarded as great achievements, I begin to feel as if some mechanism is not functioning in my brain, or perhaps is over-functioning in everybody else's.

This is the story of a bunch of boring, unlikable, over educated but under-scientific privileged white people trying to create sexual relationships with each other. Who cares? Why do people enjoy these movies? It didn't teach me anything, none of the character's behavior seemed admirable or interesting.

This movie reminds me of weak and asinine people, and doesn't do George Gershwin's music any justice. (Although the brief dialogue about Gustav Mahler being overrated is the only thing that I resonated with in the film).

I'm going back to studying physics and listen to Beethoven now. Bye.
½ July 5, 2016
Arguably one of the autuer's best !
June 29, 2016
"-You know a lot of geniuses, y'know. You should meet some stupid people once in a while, y'know, you could learn something."
June 21, 2016
Finalmente vi una de las obras maestras de Allen, ahora sería quemado en leña verde. Oda de amor a NY, joya. Una jovencísima Meryl Streep, una irreconocible Diane Keaton.
June 4, 2016
My go-to NY love letter. Really interesting narrative on relationships and how they intertwine uncontrollably.
June 3, 2016
Manhattan takes Woody Allen's love for New York plus women to a whole new level with being bittersweet and glorious in cinematography
May 26, 2016
Near-perfect film that is both enthralling and comedic.
May 6, 2016
One of Woody Allen's best films, Manhattan gives the viewer an inside look into the complexities of what love can truly represent to different people. Beautifully crafted, well-written, and well-acted, Manhattan is a triumph.
½ March 23, 2016
A little more serious than Woody Allen's other masterpiece, "Annie Hall," but "Manhattan" is just as witty and enjoyable.
February 28, 2016
I liked this classic Woody Allen and it's honestly one of my favorite films of his filmography. It's a great film about New York and the people that live there. It's got its usual Woody Allen quirks and the love lives of the main characters are as weird as always, but I liked most of its characters. The music by George Gershwin is great and really affected how much I appreciated the film. Overall 'Manhattan' is one of Woody Allen's best and most enjoyable films.
February 19, 2016
That black and white photography really makes my eyes water, it's just gorgeous. One of my very favorite opening sequences to any film ever, and in the top 5 best Woody Allen films.
½ January 27, 2016
It's just pretty damn good, very much original.
Rewatching it, Mariel Hemingway was very real and beautiful with her character and almost makes the film what it is.
December 12, 2015
I thought that this movie was overall a very average romantic comedy. Nothing interesting really happens, I found it somewhat dull. There are a few interesting elements in it, such as the wife leaving him for a woman, the feud between Woody Allen and his friend and the script is witty and smart. The romance with the seventeen year old was somewhat strange and Woody didn't have chemistry with any of his lovers, I felt he was best acting on his own.
November 30, 2015
This film grows on me with each viewing, from the transcendent use of George Gershwin's music, to the peerless, twinkly cinematography by Gordon Willis. Allen's usual clash of cynicism and romanticism reached sublime heights in this tough ode to love and loss in his favorite city. Perceptive and poignant, 'Manhattan' understands how the heart-- often so selfish and in need-- wants what it wants, and how often we try to mask this want through uncertainty, pride, pessimism, and our own pointless logic. It understands how we, often knowingly, fight for times that have already passed. It understands how behavior when a relationship fails is more interesting than when it succeeds. Both the opening and closing scenes are sheer perfection.
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