Love and Death | Chicago Reader

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In 1975, just before Annie Hall, Woody Allen was having trouble with his burgeoning seriousness: while straining for targets to satirize (here Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Bergman, Eisenstein), he seemed to be running out of ways to reintroduce the same one-liners into inhospitable contexts. Which is a complicated way of saying that the extended narrative format chosen here, the Napoleonic invasion of Russia, constricts rather than liberates Allen's easy, short-range comic talent. It's a triumph of resourcefulness over inventiveness, though some of the in-jokes are snobbishly amusing. With Diane Keaton.

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