Although lacking the bite and depth of his best work, Radio Days is one of Woody Allen’s most purely entertaining pictures. It’s a visual monolog of bits and pieces from the glory days of radio and the people who were tuned in.
Rockaway Beach, a thin strip of land on the outskirts of New York City is where young Joe (Seth Green) and his family live in not-so splendid harmony and for entertainment and escape to listen to the radio. Set at the start of World War II, it’s a world of aunts and uncles all living on top of each other and the magical events and people, real and imagined, that forever shape one’s young imagination.
Radio Days is not simply about nostalgia, but the quality of memory and how what one remembers informs one’s present life.
Dianne Wiest is delicious as an aunt who is desperate to find a husband but somehow keeps meeting Mr Wrong. The robust Masked Avenger is, in real life, the diminutive Wallace Shawn. Mia Farrow is a none-too-bright cigaret girl with a yen for stardom who magically transforms her life.
1987: Nominations: Best Original Screenplay, Art Direction