Café Society

Café Society ★★★½

63

In terms of Woody Allen, his work has always been "hit or miss", but the ratio has significantly veered towards the latter, somehow even rising above his dire late-90s period. So as much as I liked the look and sound of Cafe Society, I put away any effort into seeking it out. It's ironic because this is one of his better films in recent memory, if simply for the low bar of not being embarrassing all the way through. This has the benefit of Vittorio Storaro as DP, so it's intoxicatingly gorgeous, but unlike Wonder Wheel or A Rainy Day in New York, a shiny color palette isn't the endpoint of its charms. In fact, this is a solid work from Woody Allen, and boasting a charming cast (Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, Steve Carell, and more) in a decedent setting of 1930s Hollywood. It doesn't really amount to anything, but it's stunning-looking fluff, with peerless production design and a narrative that didn't make me want to gouge my ears out. All in all, a mild success.

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