Ah, Woody Allen. I hate you and I love you.

Whenever I watch a Woody film I’m completely torn. He is so well known for his muse-like castings, however I’m never really a fan of his choices and I end up hating said film as a result.

For example, Midnight in Paris, was so highly regarded and in it’s essence, I liked the story. Alas, I absolutely hate Owen Wilson (barring most Wes Anderson films) and he ruined it for me

I thought Cafe Society might be different.

One thing I’ll say is that, it wasn’t bad- it was quite interesting to be honest. But it just didn’t seem real. It could be a deliberate comment on the people/ lifestyle. To me, it just seemed unconvincing…

Jesse Eisenberg is great! Blake Lively is pretty good also. Steve Carell/ Michael Scott= love of my life. Kristen Stewart…

She’s been said to carry the entire film. So against popular opinion, I’ll say (again) that I cannot stand her. I’m sure she’s a great person, but her fidgety, too-cool vibe that she brings to every single role really gets under my skin.

Apart from this, I thought it was a pretty good film. The camera work was beautiful, really capturing the essence of New York and Los Angeles in the 1930s. Sweeping wide shots of the city combined with the curated palette of the costuming created a ‘polished’ dreamlike state to the story. It was hard not to get swept up in it all.

Characters in a Woody film (in recent times) are often beautiful, yet incredibly flawed and somehow flat? In this film, many of the characters are so heavily flawed that I can’t imagine anyone ever making such bad choices

Maybe that’s for a reason and he’s trying to make a statement? Who knows. To me, it’s almost aggravating. Jesse Eisenberg’s character is so naively innocent, fidgety and hopeful that I just wanted to tell him to quit it and reevaluate. Kristen Stewart’s character was interesting and incredibly different to the lahdy-dah people of Hollywood to begin with, and then was revealed to be as selfish/ more than the rest.

It was sort of disappointing. Behind all of the iconic, simple, picturesque notions of the 30s: the dancing, the romance, the clothes, the lifestyle- was really just people doing and saying things in order to get where they want to be.

However the story seemed unfinished, as his films often do. I don’t always need a conclusion in a film, sometimes I’m happy leaving it up to my imagination. Yet this one just sort of ended. What was the message? What was achieved? I don’t really know

I feel, a film needs a purpose. Whether it’s simply to tell you a story, entertain you, teach you a lesson, remind you of something or is just there to look nice. It has a reason right?

Who knows, maybe I’m just too dumb to grasp the true meaning of a Woody Allen film. Or maybe they don’t really mean anything at all…

© Maddie Vlismas 2020