The name Woody Allen evokes extreme reactions from people – there is no between – just like his memorable characters who are either on the verge of losing it or are unbearably comic. It is a matter of pride for any actor worth his salt when invited to be a part of his cinematic world; a sort of validation of their acting prowess. Woody empowers his actors with well etched out roles written specifically for them and gives them the freedom to improvise along the way. In a career spanning over 50 years he has directed some 47 odd feature films and written dozens of memorable characters for both men and women. The list below features the 10 best performances in Woody Allen movies.
10. Joaquin Phoenix (Irrational Man)
To begin with Joaquin had a very interesting role to sink his teeth into – a man dealing with existential crisis. I know that sounds very typical of a Woody Allen film. What made him stand out in a half heartedly put together film was his inherent bleakness that he displays in most of his movie roles. There is something devilishly delicious in the pessimistic views which his character preaches about that you almost want him to succeed in his misdeeds. His irrational behavior inevitably leads him towards a disastrous end but somewhere in your heart you feel what if things had gone in his favour. That’s wherein the magic of his performance lies.
9. Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona)