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Manhattan Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! 

By Jim Emerson

Manhattan, Woody Allen's follow-up to Oscar-winning Annie Hall, is a film of many distinctions: its glorious all-Gershwin score, its breathtakingly elegant black-and-white, widescreen cinematography by Gordon Willis (best-known for shooting the Godfather movies); its deeply shaded performances; its witty screenplay that marked a new level in Allen's artistic maturity; and its catalog of Things that Make Life Worth Living. But Manhattan is also distinguished in the realm of home video as the first motion picture to be released only in a letterboxed version. You wouldn't want to see it any other way. Allen's "Rhapsody in Gray" concerns, as his own character puts it, "people in Manhattan who are constantly creating these real, unnecessary, neurotic problems for themselves, because it keeps them from dealing with more unsolvable, terrifying problems about the universe." It's a romantic comedy about infidelity and betrayal, the rules of love and friendship, young girls (a radiant and sweet Mariel Hemingway) and older men (Allen), innocence, and sophistication. (a favorite phrase is used to describe a piece of sculpture at the Guggenheim: "It has a marvelous kind of negative capability.") The movie's themes can be summed up in two key lines: "I can't believe you met somebody you like better than me," and "It's very important to have some kind of personal integrity." OK, so they may not sound like such sparkling snatches of brilliant dialogue, but Manhattan puts those ideas across with such emotion that you feel an ache in your heart.

Academy Awards

Manhattan received Academy Awards nominations for Supporting Actress (Mariel Hemingway) and Best Screenplay (Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman).

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this soundtrack from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Woody Allen

Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemingway, Meryl Streep, Tisa Farrow, Michael Murphy

Released: March 14, 1979

Availability: DVD VHS CD


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