A comedic biopic focused on the life of fictional jazz guitarist Emmett Ray. Ray was an irresponsible, free-spending, arrogant, obnoxious, alcohol-abusing, miserable human being, who was also arguably the best guitarist in the world. We follow Ray’s life: bouts of getting drunk, his bizzare hobbies of shooting rats and watching passing trains, his dreams of fame and fortune, his strange obsession with the better-known guitarist Django Reinhardt, and of course, playing his beautiful music. —IMDb
Actor, director, screenwriter, and playwright Woody Allen redefined film comedy during the 1970s, bringing a new measure of sophistication and personal complexity to the form. Born Allen Stewart Konigsberg in Brooklyn, NY, on December 1, 1935, he adopted his stage name at the age of 17, and in 1953 enrolled in NYU’s film program, and soon dropping out of school to begin writing for comedian David Alber. Two years later, Allen graduated to writing for television; during his five-year in television, his efforts won him an Emmy nomination. He eventually decided to try his hand as a stand-up performer. After slowly gaining a reputation on the New York-club circuit, he became a frequent talk show guest and in 1964 issued his self-titled debut comedy LP. With 1966’s What’s Up, Tiger Lily?, a puckish re-tooling of a Japanese spy thriller complete with his own story line and dubbed English dialogue, he made his directorial debut. In 1969 Allen directed two short films for a CBS television special… read more
Not bad. Expected far worse considering my general dislike of Allen's later period. Ended up being very cute, kinda sad and very funny with a wonderful lead performance by Sean Penn. Definitely better than expected and loved the La Strada references. Overall a pretty good film, but by no means great filmmaking.
This is one of Woody Allen’s best films. Visually it’s probably his most ravishing, the cinematography by Zhao Fei(who shot THE HORSE THIEF) creats a wonderful palette that goes against the conventional… read review
(Originally written July 3, 2006)
Django Reinhardt is the only guitar player better than Sean Penn’s character in this Woody Allen mockumentary. This is a film that has redeeming qualities… read review