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Entries in Woody Allen (88)


DVD Review: "Cafe Society"

by Chris Feil

While never reaching the heights of his other showbiz-adjacent comedies, Woody Allen's Cafe Society has charm and gloss to spare. Allen is marking the same thematic territory and era fascinations as he has frequently visited in the past, here with more hidden snideness than much of his recent works. Under its sparkling surface, Society is a subtly mean-spirited film.

Much of that tone comes from Jesse Eisenberg's central performance as Bobby Dorfman, a transplant to 1930s Hollywood under the not so watchful eye of his talent agent uncle (Steve Carell). Bobby is quick to chase girls, ultimately arriving to (or creepily wearing down) secretary Vonnie (Kristen Stewart), who also is secretly having an affair with his uncle. Vonnie becomes Bobby's girl on an eternal pedestal, always more an idea of a person than the woman before him...

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Say What? Justin Timberlake Filming New Woody Allen Film

Manuel here. Between Emmy night last night and TIFF's wrap, and the onslaught of New York Film Festival press screenings, let's start the week with some eye candy.  This is an image from the set of Woody Allen's latest film (as of yet, as usual, untitled) which stars Kate Winslet, Juno Temple, Jim Belushi, and JT himself. We don't know much about, but we can definitely begin answering Eric's question as to whether the "Can't Stop This Feeling" singer will bring the sexy back to Woody's films. Here he is in full mid-century lifeguard regalia:

Amuse us with dialogue or a caption in the comments. (And see more of the Trolls star in that 1950s romper here).

Oh, and while we're on the topic of Allen and pop stars, the trailer for his Amazon series, Crisis in Six Scenes, which stars Miley Cyrus and, more importantly for us actressexuals, Elaine May:


Posterized: Woody Allen's Filmography

Will Cafe Society win Oscar attention? It certainly looks handsome.Woody Allen's Cafe Society is the prolific auteur's 46th full length theatrical feature. He's been so regular a presence at the movie theaters he even makes speedy Clint Eastwood look like a slacker. In fact, though he's got his first television series due in September starring himself, Miley Cyrus and Elaine May (the six episode season will be called Crisis in Six Scenes and debut on September 30th), it won't be slowing down his theatrical output since he's already working on the 47th feature as well (which will star Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake as previously noted).

It's too early in Cafe Society's run to know where it will stack up in terms of success, but it appears to be tracking to be one of his mid-range pictures, the kind that do fine but are neither true hits nor flops. We shall see. But for now let's look back at that highly prolific theatrical career. His pictures have earned a total of 52 Oscar nominations and 12 wins and they were once so popular they finished in the top ten hits of the year (can you imagine? Ah the 1970s when moviegoers were far crazier about what they'd turn out for)

How many of his 47 films have you seen (we're including the omnibus film New York Stories because why not)? All the posters and waves of his career are after the jump...

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10 Things to Love About "Scoop"

Today marks the 10th anniversary of Woody Allen’s murder mystery romp, Scoop. The film followed the darkly sexy Match Point, reuniting the director with star Scarlett Johansson. Unfortunately, critics and audiences were less dazzled by the pair’s second feature together, and Scoop joined the ranks of Allen’s lesser films. 

Still, I have a soft spot for this quirky little film. It’s not perfect, but it’s a fun; a confection (more dessert than entree). It’s a movie you can put on in the background while working on a project or as a pick-me-up after a bad day. So in honor of its anniversary, here are ten things to love about the mostly unloved Scoop. 

by Steven Fenton

10. GILES!
Everyone’s favorite Watcher (Anthony Stewart Head), appears in a brief cameo as a detective interviewing Peter Lyman. It always a thrill to see that discerning furrowed brow.


Johansson’s Sondra Pransky attends a swanky London party in a little black dress and...a scrunchie! Carrie Bradshaw would die. The costumers had the unenviable task of making Scarlett Johnasson a nerd. They put her in wire-rim glasses, frumpy brown capris, and truly unflattering button-downs. Their attempts do nothing to mitigate Scarlett’s sex appeal, but it’s a delight watching them try...

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Will Justin Bring Sexy Back to Woody Allen Movies? 

Eric on strange casting news. Justin Timberlake will be joining the cast of Woody Allen’s upcoming 2017 film (as yet untitled). He'll join Kate Winslet, Jim Belushi, and Juno Temple. If that isn’t one of the weirdest casts for any movie, let alone a Woody movie, I don’t know what is.  It’s funny imagining those four people in the same room together, let alone the same film. 

Woody has had the most unpredictable decade, delivering some of his best (Blue Jasmine, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Midnight in Paris, Match Point) and some of his worst (Irrational Man and Magic in the Moonlight), and you just never know what you’re going to get...

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Recommended Elsewhere...

Seven things I quite enjoyed reading this weekend.

"We're still friends, right?"Seventh Row Is Tom Hiddleston's charm getting in the way of greatness as an actor? 
Meta Komik I've recently discovered that "Doubtman" has been my arch enemy all along (3 pages)
Cinesnark lovely piece on the tiny arc of Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier within Captain America: Civil War
The Onion "Aging succubus lowering standards for men ever since she turned 40,000"
Thrillist why Black Widow is Marvel Studio's Best & Worst character 
New York Review of Books a classic from Joan Didion on Woody Allen's new "serious" phase (originally published in the late 1970s but it's most definitely still brilliant.)
Pajiba which of the Avengers would be the best in bed? I support the results, actually, except for the absurd undervaluing of Agent Peggy Carter (it is *very* clear they haven't watched Agent Carter). On the other end of the spectrum now I feel even worse for tragic Bucky.


Cannes Review: Woody Allen's "Café Society"

This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad. It's reprinted here in a slightly expanded version...

Few things in life are as regular as Woody Allen movies. For the past 40 years or so they arrive exactly once a year. In recent years they generally premiere out of competition at Cannes and predictably reignite the endless cycle of media wars about Woody Allen.

The only thing irregular about the experience is the reviews, box office, and Oscars. For the past 10 years or so it’s been especially hard to predict. In that time he’s delivered critical and commercial Oscar winning hits that the media fawned over (Blue Jasmine, Midnight in Paris), well received films that didn’t quite crossover to that same extent (Match Point, Vicky Cristina Barcelona), critical flops that did surprisingly okay at the box office (To Rome With Love), trifles that people tolerated (Scoop), reanimated abandoned projects that everyone wished had stayed dead (Whatever Works), as well as a critical and commercial flop (You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger) and one that didn't actually seem to exist at all (Cassandra’s Dream).

In short (too late!) his films come with a lot of history and even more baggage.

His latest, Café Society, begins with very little literal baggage as a young optimistic man named Bobby (Jesse Eisenberg) leaves New York for Hollywood for reasons that don’t extend much beyond “trying something new.” [More...]

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