The movie where it all came together for Woody Allen, Annie Hall marks both the culmination of his ’early, funny’ period, and the first of his mature, more serious second phase as writer-director.
Coming from stand up, Woody had always used himself as his primary comic instrument, but "Alvy Singer" is a more naked autobiographical character than he had allowed himself to play before, a comedian himself (a fore-runner of Seinfeld, come to think of it), and a neurotic New York intellectual who meets his match in Diane Keaton’s ditzy Annie.
Originally and unpromisingly titled "Anhedonia" (meaning, the inability to enjoy life), the movie was radically restructured in the editing room, with Keaton’s character becoming the focal point and a suspense plot dropped entirely - though Allen would return to it decades later in Manhattan Murder Mystery. Keaton (who was born Diane Hall) went on to win one of the film’s four Academy Awards, and became one of the iconic women of the era.
"One of Allen’s funniest, and most touching films." Saul Austerlitz, Another FIne Mess
"Woody Allen’s breakthrough movie." Time
"Arguably Allen’s most honest film." 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die