I almost chose to sleep in rather than attend today’s morning movie, but it was Woody Allen’s latest offering so I forced myself up. Great move! And a great movie. One of those that even non-Woody fans should enjoy. As he himself said afterwards, he hired someone else to do the narrator’s voice because “it changes the film when it’s my voice”. Woody’s voice would’ve made the movie more paranoid, more angst-ridden. Instead, you get Woody Allen’s themes interwoven through the various stories and sub-plots but with more of the humour and humanity outweighing the angst.
Woody himself is of course still angst-ridden. Last time I met him in Cannes he explained that the reason he is such a prolific film-maker is he desperately tries to keep himself as busy as possible to avoid thinking about the inevitablity of his own death. Today he confessed that “my relationship with death remains the same. I am strongly against it.”
His film, “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” is totally delightful. In it, we follow the lives of Sally (played by Naomi Watts), her husband (Josh Brolin), and her divorced parents as they each search hopelessly for happiness and fulfilment. And although Woody insists he has a “grim perspective on life” and that “life is unbearable if you look at it too closely”, his movie leaves you feeling happier and lighter about life. Like that you really shouldn’t sweat the small stuff. And it was obvious watching and listening to Woody, Naomi and Josh talk about the filming afterwards, that he created a working environment that brought immense happiness and fulfilment to its stars.