5.5/10. A sweet but very slight comedy. The film's premise is an intriguing one--one that would make for a very excellent short story--but does not appear to work as well when drawn out in the mockumentary format. Inserting Woody into the archival footage is fun.
Profound criticism of contemporary high-class society and intellectual elites, sparing no one from tabloid journalism to high politics, and a clever satire of pretty much an entire early 20th century. All of which is wrapped by innovative cinematography and a witty plot. Done with subtlety, Zelig doesn't preach nor parodies his context, and can do without invalidity (like Forrest Gump) to relate with common people.
One of Allen's most inventive films. Great mockumentary. The special effects are great for the time, inserting Allen in certain old footage and shooting new footage in a 20's style. As cool as the effects are, it's the story that is most effective here, of a man so wanting to fit in, he can change his personal appearance, accent, etc at will. Really relatable for introverts like me. A great film. Perfect length too.
I believe Zelig is at once an exploration of contemporary society as well as a deep introspection on the part of Woody Allen. It is very successful in channeling that documentary vibe. It really influences how you approach the material as a spectator. I think however this could benefit from a shorter run time and less comedy.
A fantastic dress rehearsal for techniques used to better effect later in 'Sweet and Lowdown', Zelig is a 'good film'. There's a lot of fantastic stuff about the dawn of psychiatry and the construction of the self & the vignettes are all real fun. What holds it back for me a little is the cohesion of the narrative; the parts are greater then the whole - but this is still an imaginative and ingenious film.
"Zelig" is quasi-documentary at its best. When you are watching Allen and Farrow, you feel you are watching "the real Dr Fletcher in color". Much later you realize the "Real Dr Fletcher" was also an actress. The question is not whether you like Zelig, the real question is when can the viewer be fooled into believing what Allen wants you to believe. Color or B/W do not provide clues here. Great stuff.
Boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring and boring. Just as "Zelig" does, I am repeating the same thing again and again. Unfunny, unamusing, unamazing; a disaster in all terms.
It is true Zelig is a one-joke movie, but that only shows how good Woody Allen is both as a screenwriter and as a story-teller because of how he can take advantage of a single joke and create an 80-minute film that never really loses its great energy - Allen basically goes anywhere with a very little joke and that's simply fascinating. And the film itself is a metaphor to conformism and how it rots the human soul.