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February 20, 2012


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Kelly Anders

This is a tough choice between a Lean epic and a dialogue-driven film by Allen. Both films have aged well, and each offers messages that continue to resonate. Since LOA was released before the modern film rating system was adopted, which occurred late in 1968, Lean addressed sensitive issues (including veiled references to homosexuality) in a very subtle way, and did so effectively. Although Allen's AH was released during a time with fewer creative restrictions, he opted to address timely topics with a graceful sense of nuance and intellectual flair. I think a more interesting match-up would have been between AH and "Dr. Zhivago," which would have enabled voters to more directly compare Lean's and Allen's treatment of romance, and I think I may have mentioned DZ in a previous response. Lean offers a mastery of panoramic views of nature and stark realism, while Allen's forte is the written word (which is, arguably, sometimes more creative). Although I suspect LOA will advance, and I think both films are outstanding, my vote goes to AH.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

The Lord of the Rings is considerably outclassed by the three others. I very much like Annie Hall but I find myself able to watch Lawrence of Arabia over and over again, while I need a considerable amount of time to lapse before viewing and enjoying again the charms of Annie Hall. I'm remined of the fact that I do not like these sort of comparisons and competitions insofar as we endeavor to identify "the best" of the best.

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