How Would Woody Allen Change His Older Films?
It’s not a surprise, exactly, that filmmaker Woody Allen is hard to satisfy. But as he’s promoting his new film To Rome With Love, which has just opened in Los Angeles and New York, he’s revealed two of his biggest disappointments in film also just happen to be audience favorites: Manhattan and Hannah And Her Sisters.
In an interview with the AP, Allen recalled his disappointment with Manhattan, despite the fact it was Academy Award-nominated and won the BAFTA for "Best Film":
When I saw it, I was not crazy about it. To this day, I have memories of it as being disappointing to me. I’m not saying it wasn’t beautifully filmed – it was Gordon Willis, shot in black in white – and the people were good. But the writing was too preachy, too self-righteous.
Allen also criticized Hannah And Her Sisters, which actually won two Academy Awards. Despite its awards, Hannah didn’t "live up to the original intention" he had, Allen said, explaining that he has more box office success if he is willing to "prostitute" the film. "There’s no correlation between what the public likes and what I’m after. I’m in a different world." It is clear Allen felt he did "prostitute" Hannah, telling the AP his original concept "was much darker. I softened it a lot, and then people liked it. But I didn’t. It was too neatly tied up."
It’s a relief that one of America’s most successful filmmakers is humble about his work. (You hear that Michael Bay?) But Woody, you’re 76-years-old and as self-critical as ever. Maybe it would be all right to mellow out just a bit?