FT Top 100 Films

Martin Skidmore says:
This has a lot of the things everyone likes in Woody’s work, and almost none of the stuff people don’t. It’s not trying to be Bergman at all, though its apparently light fantasy always has a very dark side, where the reality is so much worse than the protagonist’s cinematic escapism – and when better to set it than in the depression, with musical comedy and jolly adventure on screen, and poverty and hardship off it? The concept, of an adored movie character being brought off the screen by the love of a fan, is a good one, and then recognising that the character and the actor both exist in the world improves it – this double role is a gem for Jeff Daniels, and he tunes it beautifully. This might well be one of countless examples where an actor gives their best performance in one of Woody’s films – apparently he doesn’t direct actors much at all, so I guess it’s down to atmosphere and the script. Mia Farrow and Danny Aiello (as her horrible husband) are tremendous too.

Woody Allen is among my favourite filmmakers ever, and I think this is one of his most simply pleasurable films. Interestingly, I think it’s his first comedy in which he doesn’t appear himself – and there is not even a Woody substitute, as there often has been since.

Pete Baran says:
As much as I like The Purple Rose Of Cairo, I would really like to see “The Purple Rose Of Cairo”, the film within the film. I know it is Jeff Daniels hero that makes Mia Farrow come back time and again, but what a film it must be to not annoy her. Imagine if she had been watching the Avengers every day, just waiting for Ralph Fiennes (or Shaun Ryder) to step off the screen.