In the 1930s, a young Bronx native moves to Hollywood, where he falls in love with the secretary of his powerful uncle, an agent to the stars. After returning to New York, he is swept up in the vibrant world of high society nightclub life.
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3.6 I had zero expectations for another Woody Allen film but I was pleasantly surprised. This is a sweet, unpretentious, simple love film. Nothing deep or heavy, but it has substance in a very understated way. A good choice for a date movie. And, like Crimes and Misdemeanors, it has a pivotal Passover Seder scene. There's nothing like a good philosophical discussion at a Seder-that's what makes it a great Seder.
A slight but charming romantic drama, elevated to a level of formalist masterwork by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro. Working closely with the production designer & art directors, Storaro turns every frame into a little miracle of colour & composition; ensuring that the world of the film is vibrant & atmospheric. It's a low-key work for Allen, but one that connects many of the major themes he's explored in the past.
Workmanlike Allen that passes the time amicably enough but doesn't linger especially in the mind. Never less than competent one admires the sheer factory-like momentum of Allen's creativity and you simply move on to the next one if the last failed to catch fire. The certainty of the past forty years for at least one Allen a year is going to be a bitter pill to swallow when the factory finally ceases production.
Movie biz name-droppin' for learned film-buffs. Best color palette since Renoir, Ophüls, Eisenstein, Sirk, Ozu, Godard, Antonioni, Erice, Malick, Mann, Ray, Hitchcock, Almodóvar, Scorsese, Burton, Tarantino, Noé, Powell/Pressburger, Bertolucci, Tati, Yimou, Kieslowski, Kar-Wai, Jeunet, Anderson, Bay, Hung, Ford, Denis, Oliveira, Kiarostami & Varda. Ending shot broke my ♡. "Unrequited love kills more than pneumonia" ▽
The story is honestly tired. But A few hours after i watched it, these words suddenly came to my mind, deeply : "Time flies, people change, feelings still remain".
(and i love how they light up Kristen Stewart's beauty in every close ups)
Picture represents Allen's most enjoyable effort in recent years and his best film since 'Blue Jasmine'. Yes one could argue that this is Allen going through the motions with the self narration, the jazz music and the barely disguised lead, but one would be missing a charming, oft-funny and well cast film in doing so. Best in show is the camerawork of maestro Vittorio Storaro who still shows his mastery of the light.
'Better judgement' couldn't keep me from enjoying Café Society. Undoubtedly in that traditional slapdash Allen mode. Some execrable decisions made here, no doubt on the fly (though how can anyone forgive the unconscionable miscasting of Steve Carell?). You really have to handpick the delectables as from a mixed assortment of chocolates. Early set piece (feels like a play) w/ prostitute means movie peaks real early.
I've become fine with Woody's non-masterpieces (this included) because he does so many things right dramatically with manipulating our emotions proving his well-honed storytelling ability to not just make an audience laugh but also to move them. No new observations but some great Allen-isms ("I've never mixed champagne with lox and bagels") and nice performances are enough for me.