Woody Allen's heart and Gordon Willis's camera conjure up a Platonic ideal of Manhattan in Manhattan, a visual love poem to the city set to George Gershwin's “Rhapsody in Blue.” But in the shadow-world below the skyline, Allen's mortals are revealed as mice scurrying around an interior maze, struggling to be good and still lead the good life, and haunted by the pristine images the cityscape (and the cinema) offer up. For all its humor and humanity, Manhattan is a bitter chaser to the sweet and winning Annie Hall. Allen's loving nebbish has become the consummate middle-aged manipulator, upping the ante on the shiksa obsession by finding, then rejecting, a doe-eyed beauty (Mariel Hemingway) twenty-five years his junior. Meanwhile, the colt-like edginess of Diane Keaton's Annie Hall has hardened into the brittleness of her throughly modern Mary Wilke.

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