I run into a synagogue
I ask the rabbi the meaning of life
He tells me the meaning of life
But he tells it to me in Hebrew
I don't understand Hebrew
Then he wants to charge me $600 for Hebrew lessons. 95/100
Woody perfects his mockumentary skills from take the money and run to a perfect tee with a very interesting and fantastically shot look into this charismatic chameleon character - still holds up to this day and can fool people to even think this was real person... well... not really but great execution
Very original film from master writer-director Woody Allen. The 1980s were a very creative period for Allen, including venturing into more dramatic areas. Long gone were the absurdist (yet very funny) comedies of the early 70s. Zelig is a bit of a throwback to that period, with a wonderfully ridiculous central plot and some hilarious jokes.
While over-the-top, the plot is actually very plausible doesn't fall apart, remaining solid to the end. Being presented as a documentary helps the plausibility.
Reveling in its absurdity the movie has a great momentum and energy. The documentary format presents Allen with scores of opportunities to demonstrate his editing and cinematographic skills, editing Zelig (ie himself) into newsreels with famous people as well as constructing very plausible "footage" of Zelig at famous events.
One of Woody Allen's greatest movies, and that says a lot.