Zelig - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Zelig Reviews

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December 8, 2014
May take a while to grow on you, but Zelig is an intelligently crafted and fascinating mock-doc with impressive special effects and while not full of riotous jokes like This Is Spinal Tap (released one year later), it boasts a sustained smirk inducing comedic tone throughout, perfectly representative of Woody Allen's playful sense of humour.
½ December 7, 2014
It's certainly innovative and very funny when it tries to be, but it's hard to escape the notion that the film is slight and often more tiring than great.
½ December 3, 2014
A fabulous mockumentary about a man who can transform himself into anybody he comes in contact with. Directed by Woody Allen and released in 1983, Zelig is a love letter to the Hollywood of the 20's and 30's.
November 13, 2014
A masterpiece. Must aee
½ November 1, 2014
Review:
What was Woody Allen on when he was making this film? I must admit, it's shot extremely well and he really looks like he's in some of the old footage, but the storyline is completely bonkers. It's about a human chameleon who seeks treatment for his weird condition. I really wondered what was going on while I was watching the film because it looked so real. The added commentary and interviews also made it seem really realistic but the storyline does go from one extreme to another. Watching Allen's character change into a Jew and a black person was cleverly done for a movie that was made in the 80's, but I was wondering what was Allen trying to attempt. It's shot like a documentary so there isn't much comedy but the concept is original but weird. I did stick with the movie because of the crazy storyline, but I don't know if I liked it or just thought that it was mad. Watchable!

Round-Up:
Personally I think that this movie would have been much better if he had some top class actors in it. The scene were Zelig was sitting behind Hitler trying to get his wife's attention was impressive and Allen played his character well. When all of his wife's started to pop out of the woodwork, the moral of the story comes into play but it's still a crazy movie. It's worth a watch just to witness Zelig change into different people and to see how he cleverly put the movie together. It does seem like your watching the History channel because of the old footage, but when you see Allen's face pop up in some of the shots, you realise that it's his warped sense of humour that created such a off the wall movie.

Budget: N/A
Domestic Gross: $12million

I recommend this movie to people who are into there Woody Allen movies about human chameleon, trying to to be cured of his condition. 5/10
½ October 25, 2014
Woody Allen's usual wit blooms in this wry and keen mockumentary
½ October 24, 2014
this is a legendary mockumentry.
October 24, 2014
Truly one of Woody's best all around movie's, ever. Even my die hard "I HATE Woody Allen Friends" love this movie when I force them to watch it. Woody and Farrow are at their best, Woody playing a long-lost historical schlemiel over the ages, somehow time making him immune to his past. It's brilliant !
½ October 23, 2014
"Zelig" continues to morph in the style of its titular hero from being mildly amusing, to depressing, before finally becoming a fascinating piece of work about the nature of celebrity, individuality, and Allen himself. If not a masterpiece, it's most certainly brilliant and one of Allen's most accomplished pictures that is not only incredibly original, but intelligent and perhaps even important.
September 2, 2014
One of Woody Allen's great masterpiece. A genious, funny and incredibly wonderful work. The pseudo-documentary tells the strange and entertaining story of Leonard Zelig, the human chameleon who can turn be the people around him (in the mental and physical appearances). The film deepens man's quest for a better human being, a personality, have their own opinions, despite being influenced by others. The film chronicles a goal of man: to be accepted in society that lives in spite of being different from others. The comedy that addresses all these issues, it is also somewhat human and romantic, turning this little seventy-nine pseudo-documentary in a masterpiece of the great genius Woody Allen, one of eternal masters of cinema.
August 15, 2014
A great comedy about a human chameleon. Allen and Farrow give great performances here.
½ August 6, 2014
Possibly the most imaginative farce you'll ever see. Special kudos for the retro imagery in all its forms here. Essential Allen, way outside the box, and a near-believable documentary.
July 20, 2014
There are some really funny moments in this mockumentary. Woody Allen sort of reminds me of Stan Laurel a bit in this, at least he has that look of a bewildered idiot genius. The film does have a bit of a lull in the middle but the rest is good solid comedy.
½ July 15, 2014
What a boring movie. The plot was unique, and the style was cool, but it did not keep my attention.
July 12, 2014
One of Woody Allen's great masterpiece. A genious, funny and incredibly wonderful work. The pseudo-documentary tells the strange and entertaining story of Leonard Zelig, the human chameleon who can turn be the people around him (in the mental and physical appearances). The film deepens man's quest for a better human being, a personality, have their own opinions, despite being influenced by others. The film chronicles a goal of man: to be accepted in society that lives in spite of being different from others. The comedy that addresses all these issues, it is also somewhat human and romantic, turning this little seventy-nine pseudo-documentary in a masterpiece of the great genius Woody Allen, one of eternal masters of cinema.
June 10, 2014
An interesting concept for a comedic film by Woody Allen. I don't think I ever saw another film like this.

An oldstyle comedic mockumentary on a fictional figure.

What's better is the type of person this film is about: a human chameleon named Leonard Zelig, someone who can literally transform to match the people he is around to fit in. If he is around black people, his hair and skin will change. If he is around doctors, he will pose as one. When around anyone, he will fit in with them.

It came from when Zelig was younger and was asked if he's read Moby Dick. He was embarrassed to say no. He was humiliated and never wanted to feel like that again. So from then on, he's made sure he could always fit in with the crowd and not negatively stand out and potentially be humiliated.

With this story concept, Allen add hilarious lines all throughout the film.
This film is added to my list of favorite Woody Allen films.

Zelig, I give you a 100%.
June 2, 2014
I'm probably too familiar with Zelig, but for many it was a welcome return to laugh out loud comedy with Woody Allen in his most farcical film since Love And Death. Extraordinarily clever and oozes charm.
Super Reviewer
½ June 1, 2014
This mockumentary about a human chameleon who is able to change race, appearance, and professional demeanor at will is rather clever with the "archive footage," the smoooth 'n smarmy radio-voiced "narrator," and the "cameo interviews" with actual famous literati, but the movie tips on the tightrope of Woody Allen's slapstick inanity and Woody Allen's in-depth human analysis without ever transcending to the latter.

I'm not one for blanket political correctness, but if you're gonna use blackface and slant-eyed make-up, you've gotta say something narratively relevant and not just treat it as a gag. There's so much social and cultural critique to be mined for both smart comedy and introspective pathos: people's prejudices toward different races, the knowledge of one's own race as the Other, the oftentimes unquestioned authority of those in respected professions, et cetera.

The fictional Dr. Eudora Fletcher states that to the untrained observer, Zelig's faux-psychiatrist sounds realistic, but he's really just deploying cliched lingo. It would follow that Zelig adopts different stereotypical speech patterns for different races or classes, but all of this "research" is presented in silent "archive footage," not some tour de force bit of spoof acting like Robert Downey Jr.'s in "Tropic Thunder." Nothing changes within Woody or Zelig to actually BECOME or even inhabit another personality, which is sadly unsurprising since Woody Allen seems incapable of playing anyone other than Woody Allen. (And anyway, mimicking Dr. Fletcher is technically a plothole because Zelig's chameleonic power doesn't work with or on women.)

Without grounding in what it actually means to "pass" as a different race, class, or other distinction, this lightweight premise and execution is almost as insulting as Woody's blind man bit in "Hollywood Ending."
½ May 23, 2014
Random Zelig aspires to be like whomever he encounters. This encompasses him interacting with the pope and even hitler. It is a very dry but witty comedy, farrow annoys as a supposed psychologist.
May 21, 2014
Hilarious mocumentary.
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