Thursday, July 18, 2024

Cannes Review: Woody Allen’s Got a Hit with “Cafe Society” starring Kristen Stewart, Steve Carell


Woody Allen is back in form and better than ever in the very funny bittersweet romantic comedy “Cafe Society.” Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart and Steve Carell are perfect in the central triangle but all the actors–including some not so famous–are delightful.

This film also looks absolutely gorgeous–like buttah–thanks to Vittorio Storaro’s cinematography and a sumptuous production design. Woody himself narrates the saga of Hollywood vs. New York in the 1930s, and the film is full of Allen’s best laughs, great one liners and essential philosophies.

The press loved it, too–laughing all the way through the screening. There are some hilarious moments. But there are serious ones, too, as Woody described later at the press conference. He attempted to make a movie unfold like a novel– and it worked. The story is in three acts with many quick sidetrips throughout the characters’ stories. It’s a rich screenplay.

PS I see that in the US Ronan Farrow, Woody Allen’s misguided estranged son, has launched an attack on his father through the Hollywood Reporter– a trade magazine run by tabloid people. Shame on him. Manipulated all his life, Farrow waited until Allen had a new movie open to attack him. Why doesn’t he reach out privately and solve his own issues? No one’s buying this stuff.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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