Hannah and Her Sisters (15)

Starring: Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, Michael Caine

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The Independent Culture

The week's other Woody Allen re-release is this much-loved (and much-overrated) 1986 ensemble about a cultured New York family of egomaniacs and worrywarts who bicker their way to a kind of standstill.

At the centre is a trio of unhappy sisters: Hannah (Mia Farrow), whose financial-consultant husband (Michael Caine) is secretly besotted with her sister Lee (Barbara Hershey), herself unsatisfactorily attached to an ageing misanthrope (Max von Sydow). Third sister Holly (Dianne Wiest) is a superneurotic actress-singer who's angry at everyone and everything. Allen himself plays Mickey, a TV executive and hypochondriac, terrified that he's dying of a brain tumour and desperate for the comfort of a faith (he tries Catholicism, then Hare Krishna). His wit-struck musings are a welcome relief in a drama that's too short of laughs for a comedy and too self-consciously plaintive to be a tragedy: we've seen this brand of intellectual Manhattan mopery done far better by Allen in the 1970s.