Scorsese's is about the seductive mirage of the art life, as energetically shot and edited as anything he's done, with a terrific ending. Coppola's is the embarrassment of a legend, but useful today as the interesting juvenilia of his co-writer Sofia. And Woody Allen's is Woody Allen. A testament to directors 1 and 3 that they bail out director 2. On the whole, this shows that a short format is its own opportunity.
A hugely uneven portmentau film by some of New American Cinema's most respected directors. Clearly, more thought and cinematic flair should have been put into this rather spineless outcome. The Scorsese story is really the only one that justifies the prestige of the three names involved and the one with a cinematic perspective proper. Coppola's vehicle for Sophie is unwatchable and Allen is a shadow of his good self.
It seems only Scorsese saw this, quite plain but potentially interesting concept of a three 40-something minute shorts on New York, as an opportunity for a new and intriguing look at Big Apple, as Coppola tried out a bunch of ideas he probably had in store, that together didn't come out as a cohesive narrative or a decent plot even, and Allen pretty much does his usual, not so inspired, routine.
3.5 Scorsese's segment is truly outstanding and Woody's is fun; Coppola's middle section gets a bad rap, but its focus on the lives of rich 12 year olds is actually quite amusing and well-done; the biggest flaw lies in how its low-key approach upsets the rhythms of the other two. Perhaps most importantly, witness the holy trifecta of cinematographers on display here: Almendros, Storaro & Nykvist!
Scorsese's interpretation of the NY art world seems to be cliche but funnily on the spot!Constant gaze and graze of the camera is perfect to depict the young hot muse fetish of the old & famous (tortured) male artist. Coppola's story probably is based on semi-Eloise semi-daughter Sofia.It's the weakest film in the bunch but I understand the snob but naive girlish approach. Woody Allen's part is just brilliantly anal.
I'm not surprised that Scorsese's narcissistic male fantasy (with its defensive and pandering satire failing completely) receives endless praise while Coppola's segment—a parable that explores the inner life of a young girl—is dismissed as trivial. Such a reception typifies the critical acceptance and privileging of the male gaze.