Woody Allen’s long made a career of self-deprecating humor. It was cute and fun to watch when he was the toast of Manhattan, but post Soon-Yi and his long run of tone-deaf movies since the mid-’90s, when a man says stuff like this, perhaps it’s best to take him at his word:
Allen said that in America he had received “more than I deserve of adulation”, but in the sense of being a big-moneymaking filmmaker he had never been popular.
“I’ve always had a small audience in the United States. Annie Hall was the smallest money-making Academy Award-winning best picture in history.”
Allen called himself a mediocre filmmaker who had squandered “golden opportunities over where I could work with complete freedom artistically”.
He said: “I have made some films better than others. But I’ve disappointed myself most of the time. I’ve often said that the only thing standing between me and greatness is myself.”
In more ways than one: long before the Soon-Yi debacle, dating as far back as following classic films like Annie Hall with the still-born Interiors and Manhattan with his I’ll-trash-my-audience Stardust Memories, few entertainers in show biz have done more to deliberately wreck their careers than Allen has.