Woody Allen hasn't missed his movie-a-year pace since 1991, but that's mainly because he released two movies in 1992. That was also the year he broke up with Mia Farrow, and the public perception of him turned sour. He was no longer the charmingly neurotic New York nebbish; he was now a creepy old man who was "dating his own daughter' (which doesn't even deserve comment). No matter what the truth was or is, the public had already decided.

Allen soldiered on, rather bravely, moving through some interesting phases, including an "angry" phase, a "shaky-cam" phase, a "reunited with Diane Keaton" phase, an "English" phase and a "Scarlett Johansson" phase.

Throughout, it became fashionable to bash Allen's films. Even if a few of us stepped up to defend some of them, other critics would complain about these defenders, helpfully reminding us that Allen was a phony and a fraud. It also became fashionable, for an instant, to proclaim 'Match Point' (2005) as a comeback, or a return to form, which seemed rather arbitrary. Made two years later, 'Cassandra's Dream,' was just as good, but received mostly harsh reviews; in the past 10 years, only three of his 11 films have received "Certified Fresh" ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. The truth is, hardly anyone has actually been reviewing Allen's films; they have been reviewing Allen himself.
categories Columns, Cinematical