Woody Allen's final-period movies (I am guessing here, of course, but really: He'll reach 81 this December, so how much longer can the guy go on?) continue to grow more assured, pleasurable and (TrustMovies thinks so, anyway) mature. Mr. Allen, below, has finally grown up in ways, movie-wise and maybe otherwise, that he hadn't achieved till now. Less interested in being profound or super witty/nerdy/brilliant, he's finally willing to let his characters behave and learn and grow, rather than merely being mouthpieces (often very clever or crazy ones) for his own neuroses.
Irrational Man (a better film than was generally acknowledged), a surprisingly sweet love story complete with maybe-the-other-worldly such as Magic in the Moonlight, and now something like his latest, an alternately dark and endearing coming-of-age tale called CAFE SOCIETY. Allen (along with ace casting director Juliet Taylor) has long had a knack for fitting the actor to the role. He fills his movies with fine actors, lets them do their thing, and so -- even with
Vittorio Storaro (shown at right), and the result is -- whew! -- something wonderful. Because the film takes place in 1930s New York and Los Angeles, we get the bonus of nostalgia, of course, and handled, as it is, with Storaro's mastery of light and composition, everything from the interiors to exteriors, faces to fabrics glow and resonate. Yes, we're mostly with the wealthy upper-crust, but watch how this master handles the scenes involving the lower-middle class New York family at the center of the film. These scenes resonate cinematically in their own dark, quiet manner.
Jesse Eisenberg, above, left) who must break away from his family for awhile and so ventures out to Hollywood, where his uncle (the ever more versatile Steve Carell, below) is a big-time agent, then falls in love with the uncle's secretary (Kristen Stewart, above, right, adding another smart feather to an already full cap) -- is serviceable and malleable. And, my, how these actors bring it to splendid life.
Amazon Studios by way of Lionsgate, and running 96 minutes -- after opening in New York and Los Angeles, hits much of the rest of the country this Friday, July 29. Here in South Florida, it plays the O Cinema Miami Beach, the AMC Sunset Place 24, Coral Gables Art Cinema, Muvico Broward 18 in Pompano Beach, and the Movies of Delray in Delray Beach. To view playdates, cities and theaters elsewhere around the country, simply click here.