My rating IMDb Rotten Tomatoes
Critics Audience Critics Audience
8/10 64/100 7.1/10 70% 69%
There are directors whose characteristics are so particular that their films are a part of their own genre. Woody Allen is one of them. Just by hearing the director’s name a viewer with some familiarity with movies already knows what he will probably find: a film with a lot of dialogue, a narrator to lead us through the story, sarcastic humor and a character who is Woody’s alter ego. Café Society, Allen’s 53rd film as director and 76th as a writer, is no exception.
The story is set in the 1930s and begins in New York, when we meet Bobby (Jesse Eisenberg), a young man who seeks employment and, for that reason, goes to Hollywood to try to work with his uncle, celebrity agent Phil Stern (Steve Carell). There he meets Vonnie (Kristen Stewart) and falls in love with her oblivious to the fact he would be getting involved in a love triangle.
The film portrays well the era when artists and film producers would often gather in brunches and high society parties and it criticizes them in the right amount. There is also a parallel story involving Bobby’s brother (Corey Stoll), a New York mobster who is also the owner of the club Café Society, which names the film.
I especially liked Steve Carell’s character. At the beginning of the film, we have the impression that it will be a bad-character celebrity agent who doesn’t care about others. Gradually, however, we see a more fragile and passionate man.
Jesse Eisenberg, on the other hand, plays the role of Woody Allen’s alter ego, always present in the movies, as I mentioned earlier. Even his way of speaking and walking reminded me of the director, always complaining and saying philosophical statements about life – most of the time, with a lot of humor. Kristen Stewart is more restrained and graceful, perhaps because of the costumes and makeup, and her character full of doubts also pleased me.
The score by Stewart Lerman gave the right tone to the film, making viewers feel even more in the 1930s. In short, it is a great Woody Allen movie (much better than last year’s Irrational Man), especially for those who like their films.
Finally, I was able to see actress Blake Lively, who makes cameo at the end of the film, leaving the premiere in New York! Check out the photos!