Deconstructing Harry details
|Starring:||Billy Crystal, Bob Balaban, Woody Allen, Eric Bogosian, Demi Moore, Elisabeth Shue, Julie Kavner, Mariel Hemingway, Stanley Tucci, Judy Davis, Robin Williams, Amy Irving, Kirstie Alley, Judy Davis, Caroline Aaron, Richard Benjamin, Caroline Aaron /, Tobey|
|Run time:||1 hour 32 minutes|
|Rental release:||Limited availability|
Most helpful review
One of Allen's finest, certainly his most revealingBy Philip Concannon from London , 11 May 2004
[Highly rated reviewer]Woody Allen's extraordinary film is one of the most self-critical and revealing films I've seen for some time. Allen stars as Harry Block, a writer who has lost a number of his friends because the characters in his latest novel bear a scarcely concealed resemblance to their lives. From this point 'Deconstructing Harry' skips between Harry's torment and scenes from the novel.
What makes this film so special is the aggression Allen shows in analysing his own life and art, any criticism you can make of him he's probably made it himself first. Added to this is the fact that it's easily one of Allen's funniest and most sustained recent features. Certainly the film is his most foul-mouthed and bitter(alongside 1992's Husbands and Wives), but it's a lot more satisfying than his recent insipid comedies.
Allen also employs some inspired fantasy sequences including Robin Williams as an actor literally losing focus and a meeting with Satan(Billy Crystal). Best of all is the wife who interrogates her husband about his former life and dicovers some incredible secrets.
These scenes help break up the narrative and provide a balance to Allen's attempts at 'Deconstructing Woody'. Mean-spirited and self-obsessed it may be but rarely has the use of film as a psychiatric's couch been so entertaining.
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Overlooked pleasureBy FredBaby (44 reviews) from London , 18 Jun 2013I'd never even heard of it. For me Woody started to go bad in the 80's and there were few known gems right through until now (2013). Whilst some do cherish the merely wistful Midnight in Paris here we have the Wood Man in 1997 (16 years ago!) producing what must be called a real sleeper. I'm damned if Deconstructing Harry isn't possibly the best thing he's ever done. At its core it is a puzzle about living and writing-from-experience. Is it really Woody? What part is truth, what part fiction? Is anything new? Why does it feel fresh? Whatever it is it has more depth and comedy than anything I've seen in years. With this material the choice cast of pros can't fail to delight and move us.
Woody Allen on top formBy Nearvana (10 reviews) , 30 Oct 2012Woody Allen is prolific, and somewhere along the line there's going to be a film of his you love. Annie Hall? Hannah and Her Sisters? A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy? ... to name but 3 of my favourites. And now to add to that list is Deconstructing Harry. It's absolutely a return to top form for Allen, and if you like any of his films you've got to like this one. Yes, it does visit themes from his past (not least the above mentioned), but it still adds something new in the brilliant cutting from the title sequence onwards. And in the visual effects of the out of focus man. Throw in the usual neuroses, great one liners, mixtures of fact and fantasy. To me, it doesn't need anything else. But it also has a great theme song!
WATCH THIS FILM!!!
not the bestBy a customer from london , 22 Mar 2011very dissappointing from woody
its actually quite disjointed
Another Allen classic.By Fliddy (16 reviews) from Wales , 17 Nov 2010I love this film. It has all the Woody Allen traits needed to be a classic. Especially love the fight between him and his ex-wife. We actually hear the 'C' word too!
Nothings perfect.......By a customer from Kent , 19 Jul 2010
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS Show review anywayHideWith an all star cast supporting Woody Allen including Robin Williams, Kirsty Alley and Billy Chrystal, this romper-stomper of human misery is one of those films that you must see regardless of your normal taste in film.
Allen stars as a writer who openly admits that he 'cannot function as well in real life as in art'. Allen's hopelessly disfunctional life is centred around his writing, for which he is about to be honoured by a college from which he never graduated
The problem is, he has offended so many people around him over the years that he now has no-one to go to the ceremony with.
Desperate to prove that he is more than what he has become, he kidnaps his alienated son, hires a hooker as an escort, pressgangs an old friend with a heart condition into chaperoning and heads off on a roadtrip not only to his old college, but to a re-discovery of that which made him what he has become.
A superb commentary on the frailties of the human condition, this film is a must see despite the over complicated and often confusing plot and a very very bizarre ending in which the people at the ceremony appear as characters from Allen's writing!