4. Deconstructing Harry
One of Allens most alienating works to date, and sometimes overlooked, a grave mistake. An ode to the wonderful Wild Strawberries by Allens hero Ingmar Bergman, the movie centres on Woody Allens character Harry Block, a foul mouthed author who is driving to a University to receive an honorary degree. Along the way he is joined by a prostitute, a friend and his son. The similarities to Bergmans Wild Strawberries are obvious, but it uses the central character of Harry Block and his relationship with his writing, his stories and the characters he has created in the past to great effect, creating a dark humour that permeates everything about the film. The character of Harry Block is incredibly intriguing and is certainly one of Allens darkest protagonists to date, challenging every aspect of himself, most significantly his art, although he defends his excesses, such as hiring prostitutes, as a vital piece to every artists creative process. The script bites with more underlying humour than it was initially given credit for on release, and some sequences, including Blocks appearance in Hell, highlight the dark nature of the film and one which Allen provides a brilliant performance for. He is also supported by a stellar cast that includes Bob Balaban, Billy Crystal and even an appearance by Robin Williams who plays an actor concerned about losing his focus. Ultimately it may not appeal to everyones tastes, but it is a movie that I hope will gain more recognition in the future than it currently holds now. It really is that good.