Joan Didion On Woody Allen’s “Manhattan”

I remember reading this New York Review essay about Woody’s 1979 picture and being annoyed by Didion’s tone. I had, that summer, seen the movie and it captured every reason why I wanted to move to New York: the restaurants, the people-watching, the cultural awareness, the self-absorption. I thought that in re-reading Didion’s review I would find it very grown-up but I didn’t. Didion still seems to be objecting to Woody’s Jewish neuroses and finding his solace in self-deprecation to be a bother. I don’t. I don’t love “Manhattan” like I used to but I still remember why I loved it.

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