Hannah and Her Sisters Blu-ray Review

Hannah (Farrow) is a beautiful and talented actress.  She has two sisters, whom she would do anything for.  Lee (Barbara Hershey) currently lives with a much older painter (Max Von Sydow).  Holly (Dianne Wiest) is the youngest of the three.  She’s in what you could politely call a career rut.  One day she wants to be a caterer.  The next, a singer.  The day after that, a writer.  Hannah’s husband, Elliot (Caine) is secretly in love with Lee.  Trying to be helpful, Hannah sets up Holly with her ex-husband Micky (Allen, in great form).  Of course, things don’t always go as planned.

Hannah and Her Sisters, starring Michael Caine

One of the three best films of Woody Allen’s career (in my opinion, of course – right behind ANNIE HALL and just in front of RADIO DAYS), HANNAH AND HER SISTERS is Woody Allen firing on all cylinders.  Nominated for seven Academy Awards, it took home Oscars for Allen’s screenplay as well as the supporting awards for Caine and Weist.  As with all of Allen’s best films, it’s the combination of script and actors that makes them work so well.  This is the fifth of thirteen films Mia Farrow did with Allen and it’s her character that holds the film, and the other characters, together.  Whether it’s offering advice (and rent money) to Holly or spending time with her older parents (Lloyd Nolan and Maureen O’Sullivan, Farrow’s real life mother), Hannah seems to have the answers to everything.  Hershey is equally good.  While Hannah has the heart Lee has the brains.  She sees situations and deals with them.  Holly is almost oblivious to the realities of life.  She is a rebel for rebel’s sake.  Caine, whose thoughts often narrate his scenes, is at war with himself, enjoying the time he spends with Lee yet cursing himself at any suggestion that he is hurting Hannah.

Hannah and Her Sisters, starring Mia Farrow

Micky is the prototypical Woody Allen character – a hypochondriac who fears death.  Assured that the Catholics have a step up when it comes to the afterlife, he considers conversion, even if it means a life of mayonnaise and Wonder bread.  His initial date with Holly goes south fast, neither of them obviously enjoy the same things.  The night ends with him chastising her for her constantly snorting cocaine during a supper club performance by Bobby Short. “I had a lovely evening,” Micky tells her.  “It was like the Nuremberg Trials.”  The laughs come fast and furious but what makes HANNAH AND HER SISTERS so memorable is the sweetly underlying emotion which is revealed in almost every character.  Love.  Lust.  Sadness.  Joy.  They are all right below the surface, making you care more about them then you realize.

Hannah and Her Sisters, starring Mia Farrow

This is Woody Allen in his prime.  With gems like MANHATTAN and THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO behind him and RADIO DAYS and HUSBANDS AND WIVES still to come, you are clearly seeing a master at work at the height of his career. If you’re a fan of Woody Allen you already know how terrific HANNAH AND HER SISTERS  is.  If you’ve never seen one of his films, I beg you to give this one a look.  You won’t be disappointed.

BLU-RAY REVIEW

Video:  Once again, Woody Allen paints a beautiful picture of his beloved New York City and the transfer is bright and clear.  Presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio.

Audio:  The audio is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0.  The genius of this film is it’s dialogue and it stands out loud and clear.

Only the theatrical trailer.

OVERALL 4
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