Woody Allen’s great leap forward into character development and dramatic integrity (1979). The story is La Ronde with a thrown cog, as Allen’s Isaac Davis, a television writer with serious aspirations, turns among three women (Mariel Hemingway, Diane Keaton, and Meryl Streep), his spin impelled by best friend Michael Murphy. The script is funny and observant, full of shocks of recognition, but for all his progress as a writer, Allen’s direction remains disconcertingly amateurish. The visuals are cramped and gray, the pacing is rough, and the performances are pitched on disruptively different levels of stylization. Still, it remains perhaps the only film in which Allen has been able to successfully imagine a personality other than his own. With Anne Byrne.