Leonard Cohen once said that a great artist meets all your needs, and it’s true. Shakespeare wrote comedies, histories, tragedies and even unusual, unclassifiable “romances” or late plays; Picasso produced Cubist paintings as well as simple, almost child-like sculptures; and the Beatles transformed themselves from the original boy band singing, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”, to mature, even world-weary artists describing “The Long and Winding Road” of life itself.
In the case of Woody Allen, another truly great artist, his artistic completeness is even more extraordinary, because he has produced a series of films that do not feature the one thing that most non-Woody Allen fans find most objectionable about his work – Woody himself.
There are many reasons why non-Woody Allen fans loathe Woody: the weedy, nervy Woody “schtick”, whereby a multi-millionaire who has dated some of cinema’s greatest beauties plays an unlovable loser; the preoccupation with a privileged white American elite, most of whose problems pale into insignificance when compared to other, poorer people’s problems; and above all, the accusations of child abuse made against him by Mia Farrow, which were ultimately dismissed by a judge.
For those Woody-loathers, here are the Top 10 Woody Allen Films That Woody Himself Doesn’t Appear in.