Tag Archives: Woody Allen

Fading Gigolo Movie Review

Featuring: John Turturro, Woody Allen, Vanessa Paradis, Sharon Stone, Sofía Vergara, Liev Schreiber
Director: John Turturro
Writer: John Turturro
Movie website: fadinggigolo-movie.com/
Australian release date: Thursday, 1 May
Perth venues: Cinema Paradiso, Windsor Cinema

Reviewer: rolanstein
Verdict: Flawed, but entertaining and humorous, and offering an intriguing glimpse into a little-known sector of New York society.

Struggling elderly book seller Murray (Woody Allen) offers to arrange a ménage-a-trois for his embittered, husband-hating dermatologist Dr Parker (Sharon Stone). Seizing the opportunity to make some bucks out of the deal, Murray takes on the role of pimp, convincing reluctant buddy Fioravante (John Turturro), a Manhattan florist with no ties, to moonlight as a gigolo. A test encounter goes well, and Dr Parker subsequently recruits her voluptuous friend Selima (Sofía Vergara) to complete the threesome. Meanwhile, Murray persuades lonely Hasidic widow Avigal (Vanessa Paradis) to consult Fioravante, initially for a massage and chat.

Alas, the lads’ developing business has come to the attention of severely disapproving Hasidic community patrol man Dovi (Liev Schreiber), who has designs on Avigal.

It’s a strange brew, this. It looks for all the world like a Woody Allen flick, with its Manhattan setting, jazzy score, plot, humour, characters, even the credit fonts. And Woody features as one of the leads in typical persona. So what’s the point for director John Turturro, doing Woody by numbers?

Dunno. But who cares when the result is as enjoyable as this? Continue reading Fading Gigolo Movie Review

Blue Jasmine Movie Review

Featuring: Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins, Alec Baldwin, Andrew Dice Clay, Peter Sarsgaard
Director: Woody Allen
Writer: Woody Allen
Website: www.hopscotchfilms.com.au/films/coming-soon/bluejasmine-film/
Australian release date: Thursday 12th September

Reviewers’ verdicts:
rolanstein: One of Woody’s great character studies – and his most tragic – with a superb performance from Cate Blanchett to match.
Karen: Nearly, but not, great.

Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) is a snooty member of New York’s indulgent wealthy set, having married into big bucks, while her foster sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) is a struggling single mother who lives in a modest San Francisco apartment with her two young sons. Their starkly contrasting worlds converge when Jasmine’s marriage abruptly ends, her bubble of privilege bursts, and she is forced to stay with Ginger and begin working for a living.

Review 1: (rolanstein)
Dramas tackling class differences are notoriously prone to character stereotyping; Blue Jasmine is no exception. And in typical style, writer/director Woody Allen aims his most withering satirical shots at the ‘upper class’ (in America’s terms, the rich). Fine by me. Continue reading Blue Jasmine Movie Review

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Movie Review

Featuring: Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts and Josh Brolin, Gemma Jones, Pauline Collins, Lucy Punch, Frieda Pinto, Antonio Banderas
Director: Woody Allen
Writer: Woody Allen
Website: www.sonyclassics.com/youwillmeetatalldarkstranger/
Perth release date: Thursday 17th January
Reviewer: Karen (one-word verdict: forgettable)

Two married couples, Alfie (Anthony Hopkins) and Helena (Gemma Jones), and their daughter Sally (Naomi Watts) and husband Roy (Josh Brolin), come unstuck as mid-life crises, various anxieties and biological urges wreak havoc. Helena finds a guru in a charlatan fortune teller when, in hopeless pursuit of his lost youth, Alfie leaves her for tacky but free-spirited call girl Charmaine (Lucy Punch). Frustrated with novelist Roy’s lack of career success and unwillingness to take on parenthood, Sally falls for her handsome art gallery owner boss, Greg (Antonio Banderas). Roy, nervously awaiting his publisher’s response to his latest manuscript, spies on the gorgeous Dia (Freida Pinto), who lives in an apartment opposite, until a real-life encounter with her breathes life into his voyeuristic fantasies.

This film was made in 2010; two subsequently-made Woody Allen films have beaten it to release here. I imagine there’s a dedicated band of Woody fans who would not miss seeing You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, but had it not been for the success of Midnight in Paris, they might have been heading to the DVD rental store to do so. You’d get value for money in a bulk deal there, but if you had to fork over double-digit dollars in a cinema to see this trite, lazy effort from a supposed master, you might well be miffed. Continue reading You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Movie Review