Woody Allen: A Documentary
Posted by martinteller on August 11, 2012
I’ve been a Woody Allen fan, to one degree or another, ever since I was a kid, laughing at the silly antics of Bananas and Sleeper and Take the Money and Run (while obviously missing a lot of the verbal humor). Allen’s career is an interesting one, and probably different for every fan, with different peaks and valleys. But this documentary doesn’t really provide much insight. The best segments, unsurprisingly, are those where Allen himself speaks about his work. The other interviewees — critics, crew, actors, admirers — provide little depth, it’s mostly shallow fawning. Gee, Leonard Maltin, you mean to tell me Crimes and Misdemeanors blends tragedy and comedy? You don’t say! Even Annette Insdorf’s comments are rather surface. I’m sure she has intelligent things to say about Allen, but they aren’t in the film.
Sometimes it can be nice to just soak in a lovefest for a director you enjoy, and occasional generalities about his techniques or bits of trivia are interesting. The biographical information is presented nicely (the Soon-Yi controversy is barely touched upon, but maybe that’s just as well). Just don’t expect much of great substance. Rating: Fair (66)