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February 15, 2012


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Kelly Anders

This is by far the most intriguing match-up to date, and I am torn. Wilder and Allen are two of my favorite writers, and each of these films broke new ground in a similar genre (a melange of comedy, drama, and social commentary with a wistful twist). But "The Apartment" offers a depth and subtext not found in "Annie Hall" (which is also a nuanced, multi-layered effort). The former gave a jab to the sometimes hypocritical social mores of its time (the early 1960s), while the latter embraced and helped to define the time of its release in the 1970s. I haven't read Time's overview, but I suspect Allen was a great admirer of Wilder's work (and, perhaps, vice versa). The characters portrayed by Keaton and MacLaine were also groundbreaking depictions of independent women. But "The Apartment" has a poignancy and message that "Annie Hall" does not. In the former, there's a method to the madness; in the latter, madness and quirkiness are the message. With great hesitancy, I am inclined to vote for Wilder (although I agree of the greater likelihood of an Allen win). As for my favorite Allen film, for the record, nothing quite compares to "Take the Money and Run" (1969).

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