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Entries in Woody Allen (92)

Saturday
Jul292017

Actress Chart Updates: Kate Winslet is Buzzing

Wonder Wheel continues to gather quite a lot of pre-release hype. It's opening quite late for a Woody Allen picture on December 1st. If you look at the history of his releases they've been summer counter-programming for a very long time now. Midnight in Paris (2011) and Blue Jasmine (2013) have been his biggest Oscar and commercial successes since the 1990s and they both opened in the summer. You have to go all the way back to Match Point (2005) to find a successful December release for the annual Woody Allens and that one came up short of expectations on Oscar nomination morning (1 nomination) despite a lot of pre-release critical buzz.

But Amazon Studios, who plan to distribute Wonder Wheel themselves (a first for them), seem to have an eye on Oscar. Perhaps they've bought into the common (and very wrong) belief that you have to be a December release to catch Oscar's eye? Good luck to them and we hope the movie is as good as we're hearing!

Consider this high praise from Kent Jones who selected the movie to close the New York Film Festival in October:

I’m not quite sure what I expected when I sat down to watch Wonder Wheel, but when the lights came up I was speechless. There are elements in the film that will certainly be familiar to anyone who knows Woody Allen’s work, but here he holds them up to a completely new light. I mean that literally and figuratively, because Allen and Vittorio Storaro use light and color in a way that is stunning in and of itself but also integral to the mounting emotional power of the film. And at the center of it all is Kate Winslet’s absolutely remarkable performance—precious few actors are that talented, or fearless.

Now, it's important to note that Kent Jones is the Festival Director and thus has an obligation to promote his festival but still... wouldn't it be wondrous to see Kate rise again after the delicious hint of her full throttle starpower returning via The Dressmaker last year?

UPDATED OSCAR CHARTS
Best Actress - Kate, Emma, and Meryl on the rise
Best Supporting Actress - Holly Hunter securely up top... for now
Foreign Film Chart 1 - Afghanistan to Ethiopia speculation

Friday
Jul282017

Charlize Theron in "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion"

by Tim Brayton

As part of our celebration of the career of Charlize Theron, I'm revisiting the performance of hers that first made me clearly aware that here was a woman whose career would be worth keeping an eye on. Unfortunately, it's a crap film, one of the worst she's ever been in: I speak of the 2001 Woody Allen project The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, a sluggish, mirthless throwback to the screwball comedies of old that is, by some reports, Allen's own least favorite of his career. I can't quite bring myself to agree with that assessment, but it's certainly right down there near the bottom.

In fact, Theron's performance as bored, spoiled rich society woman Laura Kensington is easily the best thing about the film, if not indeed the only good thing about it, period. I'm very happy to report that her work holds up, even without the sense of newness...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb242017

2017 is full of 'Wonder'

Murtada here. On twitter the CEO of the French distributor Mars, which usually distributes Woody Allen movies in France, announced that the title of his 2017 film is Wonder Wheel. It stars Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake (playing a lifeguard, if those set photos are to be believed), as well as Juno Temple, Jim Belushi and Max Casella. The film was partly shot in Coney Island so we assume that the title refers to Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. July is our annual date with Woody so expect a US release announcement soon.

If this title holds it’ll mark the 4th movie scheduled for release this year that contains the word “wonder” in its title. We don’t have to remind you of our most anticipated film of the year, Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck. There’s of course Wonder Woman.

And recently it was announced that a Julia Roberts - Jacob Tremblay collaboration, simply titled Wonder, is coming out at Thanksgiving. Tremblay plays a kid with facial differences who becomes a hero when he goes to school for the first time in his young life. Roberts and Owen Wilson are his parents and the director is Stephen Chbosky (Perks of Being a Wallflower).  

Obviously Wonder Woman doesn’t have to worry about anyone mixing it up with the other three. But one of the others will definately blink and change its title, no? Lay down your bets on which film will it be.

Tuesday
Nov012016

Now Streaming (Prime): Rocky, Bond, and Brad as "Joe Black"

It's that time of the month again. Streaming! Here are the new titles on Amazon Prime. As is our practice we'll freeze frame some at random to see what comes up -- no cheating! Will you be watching any of these? Do you remember them?

Russian Coach: He's nothing, he's soft
Swedish Dolph Pretending to be Russian: He's not a man. He is like a piece of iron.

Rocky IV (1985)
Remember when America was totally obsessed with Dick-Measuring with Russia. Oh wait... we're back there again only with a really gross twist (sigh). Side note: Most but not all of the Rocky films are avaiable for streaming but the not all point kind of defeats the purpose doesn't it? See also: James Bond movies.

Speaking of...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct182016

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...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep192016

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: