Saturday, July 16, 2016

Café Society

Erratic is how I describe Writer/Director Woody Allen’s Café Society. It has many wonderful aspects, yet it is not consistently on course.

First the wonderful things…

Kristen Stewart is at her very best to date.  She began to actually show her acting talent Clouds of Sils Maria and, now, really blossoms here.  Allen knows how to bring out the best in his talent.
Parker Posey and Corey Stoll are, also, at their very best. 

The incomprable Santo Loquasto’s production design is luscious and wonderful, Suzy Benzinger’s costumes are ultra-fabulous and Stewart Lerman handles the music lovingly.

Blake Lively must also be noted.  In a sense, she’s been miscast.  Why?  Because she’s the most beautiful woman on the screen.  And, probably knowing it, she, brilliantly, plays here character down, allowing Jessie Eisenberg’s character to pine for Stewart’s character,  when he already has the best of the best.  But, I guess that’s why we have horse races. And, perhaps, that’s Woody’s point.  Still, why anyone would choose…. I’ll let it go.

Now, here’s the erratic turn…

Jessie Eisenberg can be brilliant as in the Now You See Me films, but, here, while he is excellent in the Hollywood portion of the film, he seems miscast in the New York portion by staying too boyish. 
The two initial problems at the outset are, first, the fact that, while the Hollywood big shot (Steve Carrel) keeps his nephew waiting days for an interview, the audience is kept waiting for the film to begin and, second, though the nephew supposedly falls in love with Stewart’s character at first sight, there is no shot of that first sight and I wasn’t even aware that the big shot’s secretary was Stewart until a few scenes later.  (But, maybe that’s a testament to how good she was.)  Still…

Allen has a particular dark view of human nature to which he is entitled.   However, although this film makes one think, I just wish it could have been a little more uplifting and a little less choppy. 

Nevertheless, I give Café Society a 3.9 out of 5.

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