The breakdown of his marriage with Mia Farrow, subsequent relationship Farrow's adopted daughter Soon-Yi and the negative critical responses to some of his films (particularly in the late nineties/noughties) are discussed, but Woody dismisses them with an "everyone is entitled to their opinion" attitude and Weide seems hesitant to probe further, content with keeping on good terms with his subject. And Woody is on good form throughout, constantly displaying the self-deprecating humour that has become such a hallmark of his work. We also get a glimpse into his work method, he still writes notes down on yellow pads of A4 paper and types every screenplay on the samevtypewriter he has owned for over 60 years.
It would have been nice to see more of Woody Allen the person rather than the filmmaker - his love of the New York Knicks and playing clarinet in the same jazz club every Monday night, for example. Perhaps some of this is featured in the three hour long version that originally aired on US television last year.
The two hour cinematic release looks at his progression from a newspaper gag writer to stand-up comic, with Weide providing great clips from TV and his films illustrating his talent and where his inspiration came from, but the majority of the running time focuses on his film career. It includes his unhappiness at the execution of his script for What's New Pussycat? to such classics as Annie Hall and Manhattan.
At times the documentary can seem like a puff piece that you might find on a DVD extra (lots of actors lining up to praise Allen, etc) but it is hard to argue with the evidence on show. Allen has directed 15 actors to Oscar nominations (with five wins) and won four Oscars himself in the process of creating some of the funniest lines and films ever to come out of Hollywood.