Woody Allen is a controversial figure for good reason. People love him, hate him, accuse him of crimes and call him brilliant–and I’m sure he loves it that way.
He has written and directed almost 50 films and even though some of them aren’t very noteworthy, the ones that work, work perfectly and showcase his genius.
I enjoy his darker films more than his comedies because they portray the truth in a way that ignores all bullshit and gets right to raw human emotion.
Woody Allen gets away with it because…well…he’s Woody Allen.
Another Woman (1988)
One of the most haunting and psychologically powerful movies I have ever seen. This one gets deep into the heads of its characters and slaps you in the face with intense truth.
The story revolves around a 50 year old woman who is going through an identity crisis. She begins to recognize that reality is not how she had painted it in her mind and when she realizes that the people in her life do not love and respect her like she believed, a breakdown ensues.
The movie also illustrates just how much strangers can have an eye-opening and important impact on you because they can act like mirrors.
Hannah and her Sisters (1986)
If you want to understand how women operate, I would recommend studying this film because it captures relationships between sisters with utmost accuracy.
This is one of the most well-balanced and interesting movies I have ever seen. It contains serious themes, hilarious scenes, reflections on the existence of God, fucked up lies, and harsh truths.
You can witness firsthand how females think and act around each other. It blows my mind how incredibly different men and women are and this film gets right in the heads of three girls with extraordinary accuracy.
Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
The only film I have ever watched that deconstructs what committing murder must be like. The psychological impact of taking someone’s life is not explored nearly enough and Allen tackles it with great attention to detail here.
This film forces you to question yourself as you watch it: could there ever be circumstances that would push you to take another humans life? How would your conscious react? Would you be able to justify it? Is it possible to truly get away with murder?
This isn’t some Hollywood bullshit, but it shows you just how many murders in America are committed and what the consequences are.
One of my favorite things about this movie is how well Woody juxtaposes hilarious comedy and dark themes. He does this perfectly in Crimes and Misdemeanors with the character that he plays in it.
Allen has many, many more films that are worth watching. I will post some more when I get the chance to revisit them, but the three above are the most powerful out of them all.
They are perfect films for watching with an intelligent girl who appreciates life–French girls tend to pair well with Woody Allen movies.
For other recommendations, try these: