WOODY WEDNESDAY  Ranking Woody Allen’s 47 movies!!!! Part 2

Ranking Woody Allen’s 47 movies!!!! Part 1

The Best & The Rest: Every Woody Allen Film Ranked

This week, Woody Allen‘s 2016 title (for as we all know, there’s one each year), “Cafe Society,” starring Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Steve Carell, Corey Stoll, Blake Lively and Anna Camp, opens after a warm reception as the opening film at the most recent Cannes Film Festival. You can read our take from Cannes here, or hang on to scroll through and see where it lands on the list below, but we thought this would be a good time to gussy up our previous sprawling two-part Allen retrospective, and because we’ve been a little harmonious around here of late and miss the sounds of sobbing and breaking crockery, to rank it.

READ MORE: The Best And The Rest: Every Stanley Kubrick Ranked

Weathering personal scandal and coming in and out of fashion like flares, Allen’s been at constant work as a director for five decades now, and “Cafe Society” marks his 47th theatrically-released feature. Which means we have a lot to get through, so let’s get straight to it, shall we? Here, ranked worst to best, are all of Woody Allen’s theatrical features —with any list this long, there’s bound to be massive disagreement, so remember, the comments section awaits your ire. Or your congratulations, on the slim chance you agree with all of it.

Irrational Man Official Trailer #1 (2015) – Emma Stone, Joaquin Phoenix Movie HD

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Irrational-Man-woody-allen-emma-stone-joaquin-phoenix-261568943. “Irrational Man” (2015)
No one was more taken aback than we were by the depth of our dislike of Allen’s last film before “Café Society.” Starring Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix, two actors we’re preternaturally fond of, and supported by ringer Parker Posey, the picture marks a return to contemporary America after the frou-frou period fluffiness of “Magic in the Moonlight” and seems a return to a particularly Allen-esque murder-and-infidelity plot that had yielded decent results in the past. But “Irrational Man” is one of Allen’s nastiest and most troubling films, a sourhearted laughless “comedy” in which the female lead is only present to talk about how tortured and interesting the male lead is, while that male lead has some sort of self-absorbed existential crisis that we’re apparently supposed to care about. Around the time Stone delivers the wack line “I love that you order for me” in a restaurant scene, and long before the signposted pseudo-intellectual namedropping has stopped (she discovers he’s plotting a crime because of notes in the margin of “Crime and Punishment”), it’s clear that “Irrational Man” represents all of Allen’s late-period worst tendencies regarding sexism and self-indulgence, but with none of the jokes that made it all worthwhile in the past.

 

celebrity-leonardo-dicaprio-woody-allen42.“Celebrity” (1998)
Of all the filmmaker’s surrogates in his canon throughout the years, none was a weirder choice than British thesp/director Kenneth Branagh playing a novelist-turned-tabloid journalist (following, of course, a disastrous divorce) in “Celebrity.” The casting is bizarre in and of itself, especially since “Celebrity” was released at the tail end of Branagh’s impressive Shakespeare run, and yet the way Branagh almost perfectly mimics Allen’s jerks, tics and stuttering speech patternsit may be the most impressive aspect of “Celebrity.” The problems are everywhere else, in a film that is less a coherent story than a series of vignettes in which Branagh bumps into various celebrities (usually playing exaggerated versions of themselves). The best cameo goes to Leonardo DiCaprio, upending his then-badboy image, but as a satire on the vacuity of Hollywood, which would you think the famously reticent and celebrity-averse Allen would be in a perfect position to deliver, “Celebrity” is almost entirely toothless, In fact, the period-set “Cafe Society” does the price-of-fame stuff much better.

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