Study Guide

Annie Hall Versions of Reality

Versions of Reality

Ever wish that life had a reset button, or that you could get a do-over? So does Alvy. He makes it clear from the get-go that he has a problem distinguishing between fantasy and real life.

Whether it's Marshall McLuhan magically showing up to save the day, random passersby on the street doling out advice about Alvy's love life, or even cartoon Alvy arguing with Snow White's Wicked Queen, Annie Hall is chock-full of sequences that bend the boundaries between reality and Alvy's anxious imagination. Essentially, he uses fantasy to make sense of reality—or at least try to. In fact, according to Alvy, the whole purpose of art is to iron out all of real life's messy, frustrating, heartbreaking imperfections.

Questions About Versions of Reality

  1. Annie Hall is full of fantastical elements that support the movie's theme of reality vs. fantasy. What are some of these elements?
  2. Which of these fantastical elements do you think is the most effective? Why?
  3. Why do you think Alvy apologizes for the happy ending that he gives his play?

Chew on This

According to Annie Hall, the only way to have complete control over one's life is through art.

Having one foot permanently planted in the fantasy world prevents Alvy from having successful relationships.

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