WOODY WEDNESDAY Ranking Woody Allen’s 47 movies!!!! Part 18

I am moving the WOODY WEDNESDAY to a monthly feature on http://www.thedailyhatch.org. My passion has been recent years to emphasize the works of Francis Schaeffer in my apologetic efforts and most of those posts are either on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

The Best & The Rest: Every Woody Allen Film Ranked

This week, Woody Allen‘s 2016 title (for as we all know, there’s one each year), “Cafe Society,” starring Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Steve Carell, Corey Stoll, Blake Lively and Anna Camp, opens after a warm reception as the opening film at the most recent Cannes Film Festival. You can read our take from Cannes here, or hang on to scroll through and see where it lands on the list below, but we thought this would be a good time to gussy up our previous sprawling two-part Allen retrospective, and because we’ve been a little harmonious around here of late and miss the sounds of sobbing and breaking crockery, to rank it.

READ MORE: The Best And The Rest: Every Stanley Kubrick Ranked

Weathering personal scandal and coming in and out of fashion like flares, Allen’s been at constant work as a director for five decades now, and “Cafe Society” marks his 47th theatrically-released feature. Which means we have a lot to get through, so let’s get straight to it, shall we? Here, ranked worst to best, are all of Woody Allen’s theatrical features —with any list this long, there’s bound to be massive disagreement, so remember, the comments section awaits your ire. Or your congratulations, on the slim chance you agree with all of it.

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husbands-and-wives-woody-allen4. “Husbands and Wives” (1992)
Marriage is seldom a “happily ever after” — more likely it’s just the “after,” as Allen’s usual cast of Upper East Side neurotics discover in this tremendously acerbic dramedy which hews somewhat closer to the dramatic end of the spectrum. Gabe and Judy (Woody Allen and Mia Farrow), are the married best friends of couple Jack and Sally (Sydney Pollack and Judy Davis) who decide to separate, sending Gabe and Judy into a tailspin of their own. Gabe is attracted to a precocious student (Juliette Lewis) and Judy develops feelings for a man in her office (Liam Neeson). The ensemble all perform brilliantly, in particular a show-stopping Davis, as the uber-neurotic Sally (she was Oscar nominated, as was Allen for Screenplay). Aesthetically, the film feels unadorned, even quasi-documentary, which proves an inspired choice in keeping these often ugly characters grounded in reality and in contributing to the overall sense of energy and momentum that makes an ironic film about decaying relationships and the perils of taking each other for granted feel like it zips past in dust cloud of snappish dialogue and withering insight.

Hannah and Her Sisters – Favorite Scenes

HANNAH AND HER SISTERS – Trailer ( 1986 )

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Hannah and Her Sisters3. “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986)
Borrowing the loose, holiday-centered structure from Ingmar Bergman’s “Fanny And Alexander” (except with Thanksgiving instead of Christmas) Allen’s tale of the loving yet complicated relationship between three sisters is one of the finest films of the 1980s and certainly one of the best films of his career. Hannah (Mia Farrow) has two sisters, the flighty Lee (Barbara Hershey) and the nervy Holly (a career-best Dianne Wiest). The former bounces from a relationship with intense Frederick (Max Von Sydow) to an affair with Hannah’s husband, while the latter struggles simply to find her place in life. Both tender and hilarious, Allen captures the foibles and follies of middle age but even makes time for a digression about the architectural wonders of the city that is right up there with the opening of “Manhattan,” as a poignant postcards to his native city, shot gorgeously by Carlo Di Palma. “For all my education, accomplishments and so-called wisdom, I can’t fathom my own heart,” says Hannah’s husband Elliot (a terrific Michael Caine) and it serves as a perfect encapsulation of the film’s wise, witty but eternally wondering core.

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