Woody Allen once again graces the ballots of Oscar’s voters with his latest offering, Midnight In Paris. This has lead me to pull out what may be my favorite, all be it lesser known Allen film, Radio Days. Radio Days is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary this year and celebrated it should be. It’s not Allen’s most visually perfect movie like Manhattan was or Stardust Memories and it’s not his most precise movie movie either like Annie Hall was and Match Point.
Radio Days is a semi-biographical look at the day’s when radio was king and a soldier was a celebrated hero. When war felt right and every family was just perfect. Focusing on a young Brooklyn boy who loves his radio and enjoys being the boy he is.
Allen himself narrates the movie as he nostalgically looks back on the radio shows and stars and songs he loved. All his memories are associated with particular songs or shows. His years of acquiring knowledge of the stars leads him to give the inside scoop on the stars.
While all the shows and stars are fictional, they are based on real radio time stars and shows. With a soundtrack out of Woody’s personal collection it is one not to be paralleled. Allen’s great quality with Radio Days is the development of the characters that make up his family members of which there is a piece of actual relatives whom all lived together in one house during Woody’s early years.
One thing that is more unlike his other movies, is that the humor and jokes are so real and so relatable everyone can see their family in it in some aspect.
It’s ironic that Midnight In Paris is about the absurdity of being nostalgic when Radio Days is Woody being exactly that. It shows his love affair with rain soaked days and good music. It shows that not all New York City residents were well off or even making a good living even during the golden times for the city.
While Woody may be acknowledged for his movie about nostalgia on the 26th, let’s just keep in mind it’s not his first look back at a great era in American history.