By Indiewire | Indiewire December 2, 2005 at 8:47AM
Woody Allen turns 70 today, and the weakness -- or, in some cases, the comparative weakness -- of his recent films obscures the fact this is one of the great American filmmakers. We take him for granted, think of him as a cottage industry producing little boutique films, one a year, like clockwork. But since 1969, he has racked up so many masterpieces, so many near-masterpieces and so many just plain good movies that there's no denying his place among the great writer-directors: Sturges, Welles, Keaton, Chaplin. Mick LaSalle reports.