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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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.
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.
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.
In 2016, one doesn't expect miracles from Woody Allen—by my count, his last great movie was in the 90s. Cafe Society is not particularly funny, not particularly bad, not particularly boring, not particularly unexpected, a reworked mixture of familiar Allen elements. The real surprise is how much it's an old man's film about the passing of time, and how its indecision about being comedy or drama somewhat pays off.
Pales in comparison to Midnight in Paris, or The Purple Rose of Cairo, but is still a solid film. Exposition is clunky, but it gets its footing after the "twist". Steve Carell is great. Parker Posey is always a delight. Kristen Stewart left a lot to be desired.
Café Society features Woody Allen's sharpest wit and funniest one-liners in quite some time, though it’s hard to shake off the feeling that with the director’s first incursion into digital filmmaking some of his trademark magic and nostalgia faded with it. Still, Jesse Eisenberg's spectacular performance, Storaro’s breathtaking photography and WA’s habitual acidic views of life make this a rewarding trip to the past.