- Radio Revels
Ringing in the newborn year 1944 at the bittersweet conclusion of his lovely gem Radio Days (1987), writer/director Woody Allen switches back and forth between the Manhattan society swells who venture into the freezing cold on the rooftop of the radio station to grab a view of the Times Square festivity and narrator Joe’s family whooping it up in their cozy Rockaway, Queens walk-up, toasting the chimes of midnight listening to the big-band broadcast the stylish set just skipped out on. Both crowds have reservations about the future but ultimately surrender to a feeling of optimism and cautious joy. Whether the partying wild bunch with which you might more readily identify is swank or ragtag, the acute smartness of Allen’s writing grows out of the canny recognition that the uneasy and ecstatic feelings that New Year’s Eve revelers of the past, present and future are in many ways the same. And when the funny and touching radio-related tales winding through the Oscar®-nominated screenplay are in the hands a typically awesome Allen ensemble, they become magic. In roles ranging from meaty to fleeting, Danny Aiello, Kitty Carlisle, Jeff Daniels, Larry David, Mia Farrow, Seth Green, Robert Joy, Julie Kavner, Diane Keaton, William H. Macy, Kenneth Mars, Josh Mostel, Tony Roberts, Mercedes Ruehl, Wallace Shawn, Michael Tucker, Dianne Wiest and the legendary announcer Don Pardo constitute a captivating cavalcade. Radio Days (1987) on Twilight Time hi-def Blu-ray rates a celebratory spin any day and it’ll leave you with choice memories. Happy New Year.