Category Archives: Woody Allen

WOODY WEDNESDAY  Ranking Woody Allen’s 47 movies!!!! Part 5

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.

Whatever Works – Official Trailer!

whatever_works_woody-allen-larry-david35. “Whatever Works” (2009)
“Whatever Works” came out the same year as Ricky Gervais’ “The Invention of Lying,” a vanity picture some took as a latter-day incarnation of one of Allen’s high-concept comedies of the early 1970s. The film was, much like Gervais himself nowadays, a proud bore that asked you concurrently to pity it whilst taking it for the most hilarious thing ever made, evoking Allen’s legacy by stealing his favorite font (Windsor-EF Elongated, typography fans) for its opening titles. Audiences would have done better to check out Allen’s own work, which promised a return to New York after a muddled European caesura, a reworking of a lost script from the 1970s (a screenplay originally intended forZero Mostel) and one of Allen’s heirs apparent in the lead role. It doesn’t even come close to following through on that sublime set of circumstances, but “Whatever Works” is still fun for dyspeptic atheists everywhere: pitting the lacerating Larry David as a failed physicist against a world of “submentals” and “inchworms.” The Bible Belt hicks are way too broadly drawn, and a romance with Evan Rachel Wood brings in extraneous (and icky) autobiography, but “Whatever Works” is at the very least better than its reputation suggests.

 

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MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT (2014) Official HD Trailer

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magic-in-the-moonlight-emma-stone34. “Magic in the Moonlight” (2014)
If not among the ranks of the very worst Allen films, then certainly one of the twee-est, this unconvincing but essentially well-meaning story sees Emma Stone and Colin Firth — both charming actors who do summon a little chemistry, though it’s far more platonic than romantic — lark about in a very poorly plotted mess of spiritualist malarkey. Wearing very pretty clothes — we’ll give it that — and decked out in appropriately lush Downton Abbey detailing, the warmed-over plot concerns a spirit medium (Stone) and the skeptic (Firth) whose determination to debunk her is complicated when he develops feelings for her. Words like “frothy” and “insubstantial” can often be turned into minor compliments, but here we mean them in the not-so-positive sense: “Magic in the Moonlight” is clearly supposed to be as feathery as gossamer and as ephemeral as moonlight, but there’s a fine line between airy effortlessness and treading water, and sadly it’s a line Allen crosses here. Still, it just about passes muster on a long-haul flight.

Related posts:

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen Videos

Woody Allen – Concerto Parigi 1996 – Wild Man Blues Woody Allen & The Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” ( MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Paul Gauguin’s 3 questions examined!!!)

______________ Gauguin’s 3 Questions Paul Gauguin, now regarded as a French Post-Impressionist artist, was not received well by his old painter friends while living. And having abandoned his wife and children he had no options or resources for getting by. He never found artistic success, either critically or financially in his lifetime. However, there is […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen CRISIS IN SIX SCENES

______________ Woody Allen CRISIS IN SIX SCENES Crisis in Six Scenes S01E01 CZ titulky Something about television brings out the nostalgist in Woody Allen (well, y’know, even more than usual), and understandably – it’s a medium inextricably tied to his own early days. He got his start as a staff writer for The Colgate Comedy […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY First Look at Woody Allen’s Next Movie ‘Wonder Wheel’ Posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 by Jack Giroux

First Look at Woody Allen’s Next Movie ‘Wonder Wheel’ Posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 by Jack Giroux Another period piece is coming our way from writer-director Woody Allen. We know little about his latest movie, titled Wonder Wheel, which is typical of Allen’s movies. Rarely are character and plot details shared early on. But we […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY The Performance of all Woody Allen movies at the Box Office!!!

_ Woody Allen Bob Hope Tonight Show 1971 Woody Allen Actor Director Writer Date Title (click to view) Studio Lifetime Gross / Theaters Opening / Theaters Rank 7/15/16 Cafe Society LGF $11,103,205 631 $359,289 5 18 7/17/15 Irrational Man SPC $4,030,360 925 $175,312 7 36 7/25/14 Magic in the Moonlight SPC $10,539,326 964 $412,095 17 […]

“WOODY WEDNESDAY” WOODY ALLEN TURNS 81 5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE FILM GENIUS

__ The Woody Allen Special [1969] (Guests: Candice Bergen, Billy Graham and the 5th Dimension) Published on Sep 8, 2016 For all the Woody Allen/television fans, here is the rare 1969 CBS special! Featuring the flawless stand-up of Woody, and skits such as: Woody and Candice having to rehearse nude for an artistic play. A […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Happy Birthday Woody Allen: 15 Quotes By The Maverick Filmmaker

__ Woody Allen The Dean Martin Show Happy Birthday Woody Allen: 15 Quotes By The Maverick Filmmaker News18.com First published: December 1, 2016, 3:30 PM IST | Updated: December 1, 2016 One of the most celebrated filmmakers of Hollywood, Woody Allen turns 81 today. Born and raised in Brooklyn as Allen Konigsberg he is arguably […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Settling into a hotel bar in Soho after a long day shooting a film for Woody Allen in the Bronx, Justin Timberlake wastes no time ordering the first of several Vesper martinis. “I was terrified all day today, dude,”

___________ Justin Timberlake Talks ‘Trolls,’ Family Life and His New Album With Pharrell Williams Andrew Barker Senior Features Writer@barkerrant TOM MUNRO FOR VARIETY NOVEMBER 1, 2016 | 10:00AM PT Settling into a hotel bar in Soho after a long day shooting a film for Woody Allen in the Bronx, Justin Timberlake wastes no time ordering […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen’s 81st Birthday

_ Woody Allen – standup – ’65 – RARE! Happy 81st Birthday, Woody Allen December 2, 2016 1 Comment Woody Allen turns 81 today. And he shows no signs of slowing down. Allen spent his 80th year being remarkably prolific, even by his own standards. The end of 2015 saw that year’s film, Irrational Man, […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Everything We Know About Woody Allen’s 2017 Film With Kate Winslet And Justin Timberlake October 16, 2016

  _ Everything We Know About Woody Allen’s 2017 Film With Kate Winslet And Justin Timberlake October 16, 2016 3 Comments Woody Allen has, it seems, wrapped production on his 2017 Film. The new film stars Kate Winlset and Justin Timberlake. And despite some very public days of shooting, We still don’t know that much […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY  Ranking Woody Allen’s 47 movies!!!! Part 4

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.

YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER – Official Trailer

 

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You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger38. “You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger” (2010)
Even on release, “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” was largely overlooked, despite its unstoppable cast (Anthony Hopkins, Josh Brolin, Antonio Banderas, Freida Pinto and Naomi Watts are among the actors filmed by genius cinematographer and regular collaborator Vilmos Zsigmond) and its glitzy premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. And in the years since, it’s disappeared into a black hole. The film is largely about faith, which is fitting, considering that those who love the film have to be Allen’s most uncritically adoring fans, believing against much evidence that he still has a lot to say about the human condition. For the rest of us, despite some diverting subplots and preoccupations, ‘Stranger’ feels more empty than usual, is oddly anonymous and its interwoven storylines feel far too based on happenstance and coincidence to even have the more ironic twists really bite. It’s no wonder that when asked to name as many Allen films as we can off the top of our head, we always, but always, forget about this one.

Melinda-and-Melinda-woody-allen37. “Melinda and Melinda” (2005)
In its premise, “Melinda and Melinda” is a charming doodle — the titular character (played by the perpetually underrated Radha Mitchell) goes through mirrored storylines, both romantic, with one played as comedy, while the other is a tragedy. So far, so good, right? Sadly, it’s much more tedious than it sounds, and besides some occasionally sparkly performances (Will Ferrell makes a better Allen surrogate than you’d think, as his nervous tics are blown to oversized proportions), it’s a bit of a drag. Before the second half of the movie concludes, you’ve already grown weary of its conceptual trappings, and the rest is not at all dynamic, despite supporting turns by Amanda PeetSteve Carelland, in the rare instance of a black actor in a Woody Allen movie, the wonderful Chiwetel Ejiofor. His velvety smooth performance is almost enough to save the movie from banality, but only almost. Fun fact: the Ferrell and Mitchell characters were written for Robert Downey Jr. and Winona Ryder, both of whom were uninsurable at the time. Wonder if they’ve gotten over the disappointment?

new-york-stories-oedipus-wrecks-woody-allen36. “New York Stories” (1989) (Segment: “Oedipus Wrecks”)
A short film in the omnibus triptych “New York Stories,” which featured other segments by Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola, Allen scores the distinction of being the “just OK” short sandwiched between one great one (Marty’s) and one bad one (Coppola’s). Allen’s love note to his mom and being a mama’s boy, “Oedipus Rex,” is a lighthearted comedy about a mother disembodied and transported into the ether above New York City after a magic trick goes awry (check the pre-‘Curb’ Larry David-with-hair cameo). She proceeds to visibly appear as a gigantic apparition over Manhattan’s skyline announcing embarrassing facts about her son’s personal life that New Yorkers soon become accustomed to; tolerating and then even ignoring her awkward motherly gushing about her son. It’s a little bit more high-concept and surreal than is the norm from Allen (it feels very much like his short story writing), but essentially, it is much the same old gag about neurosis and self-deprecation, only here the funnybone remains largely untickled.

Related posts:

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen Videos

Woody Allen – Concerto Parigi 1996 – Wild Man Blues Woody Allen & The Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” ( MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Paul Gauguin’s 3 questions examined!!!)

______________ Gauguin’s 3 Questions Paul Gauguin, now regarded as a French Post-Impressionist artist, was not received well by his old painter friends while living. And having abandoned his wife and children he had no options or resources for getting by. He never found artistic success, either critically or financially in his lifetime. However, there is […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen CRISIS IN SIX SCENES

______________ Woody Allen CRISIS IN SIX SCENES Crisis in Six Scenes S01E01 CZ titulky Something about television brings out the nostalgist in Woody Allen (well, y’know, even more than usual), and understandably – it’s a medium inextricably tied to his own early days. He got his start as a staff writer for The Colgate Comedy […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY First Look at Woody Allen’s Next Movie ‘Wonder Wheel’ Posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 by Jack Giroux

First Look at Woody Allen’s Next Movie ‘Wonder Wheel’ Posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 by Jack Giroux Another period piece is coming our way from writer-director Woody Allen. We know little about his latest movie, titled Wonder Wheel, which is typical of Allen’s movies. Rarely are character and plot details shared early on. But we […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY The Performance of all Woody Allen movies at the Box Office!!!

_ Woody Allen Bob Hope Tonight Show 1971 Woody Allen Actor Director Writer Date Title (click to view) Studio Lifetime Gross / Theaters Opening / Theaters Rank 7/15/16 Cafe Society LGF $11,103,205 631 $359,289 5 18 7/17/15 Irrational Man SPC $4,030,360 925 $175,312 7 36 7/25/14 Magic in the Moonlight SPC $10,539,326 964 $412,095 17 […]

“WOODY WEDNESDAY” WOODY ALLEN TURNS 81 5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE FILM GENIUS

__ The Woody Allen Special [1969] (Guests: Candice Bergen, Billy Graham and the 5th Dimension) Published on Sep 8, 2016 For all the Woody Allen/television fans, here is the rare 1969 CBS special! Featuring the flawless stand-up of Woody, and skits such as: Woody and Candice having to rehearse nude for an artistic play. A […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Happy Birthday Woody Allen: 15 Quotes By The Maverick Filmmaker

__ Woody Allen The Dean Martin Show Happy Birthday Woody Allen: 15 Quotes By The Maverick Filmmaker News18.com First published: December 1, 2016, 3:30 PM IST | Updated: December 1, 2016 One of the most celebrated filmmakers of Hollywood, Woody Allen turns 81 today. Born and raised in Brooklyn as Allen Konigsberg he is arguably […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Settling into a hotel bar in Soho after a long day shooting a film for Woody Allen in the Bronx, Justin Timberlake wastes no time ordering the first of several Vesper martinis. “I was terrified all day today, dude,”

___________ Justin Timberlake Talks ‘Trolls,’ Family Life and His New Album With Pharrell Williams Andrew Barker Senior Features Writer@barkerrant TOM MUNRO FOR VARIETY NOVEMBER 1, 2016 | 10:00AM PT Settling into a hotel bar in Soho after a long day shooting a film for Woody Allen in the Bronx, Justin Timberlake wastes no time ordering […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen’s 81st Birthday

_ Woody Allen – standup – ’65 – RARE! Happy 81st Birthday, Woody Allen December 2, 2016 1 Comment Woody Allen turns 81 today. And he shows no signs of slowing down. Allen spent his 80th year being remarkably prolific, even by his own standards. The end of 2015 saw that year’s film, Irrational Man, […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Everything We Know About Woody Allen’s 2017 Film With Kate Winslet And Justin Timberlake October 16, 2016

  _ Everything We Know About Woody Allen’s 2017 Film With Kate Winslet And Justin Timberlake October 16, 2016 3 Comments Woody Allen has, it seems, wrapped production on his 2017 Film. The new film stars Kate Winlset and Justin Timberlake. And despite some very public days of shooting, We still don’t know that much […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY  Ranking Woody Allen’s 47 movies!!!! Part 3

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.

Scoop Official Trailer #1 – Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman Movie (2006) HD

 

Scoop41. “Scoop” (2006)
Coming after what many considered a late-career triumph in “Match Point,” there were those who were disheartened to see Allen return to madcap slapstick. And even those who were happy he wasn’t revisiting damp thriller territory with his next London-set, Scarlett Johansson-starring film were dismayed by “Scoop.” Involving a beleaguered junior reporter tailing a handsome potential serial killer thanks to clues from a ghost, this film is exactly as silly as that sounds, and there’s little the attractive pairing of Johansson and Hugh Jackman can do to save it. Without a clean balance between the chaotic supernatural elements of the story and the main serial killer narrative, the film feels wildly uneven in plotting as well as tone. It’s the sort of diversion that, if it had gone right, its formulaic tendencies and thin plotting would have been disguised with catchall terms like “effortless” and “breezy.” But since it doesn’t, the film feels more involuntary and rote, a supremely uninspired entry from Allen that shows all of his laziest late-period impulses.

40. “A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy” (1982)
You’d think a movie called “A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy” would not be boring. But you’d be wrong. This often agonizing grind of a film is loosely based on Ingmar Bergman’s “Smiles of a Summer Night,” but the witty reinvention impulse seems to peter out after the (admittedly kind of brilliant) title. Despite or maybe because of Allen’s reverence for Bergman, he can’t seem to make this homage catch fire —everything about it is dull, including its period setting, its straightforward philosophical discussions that border on rote dissertations and the flat cinematography. Even the talented cast (including Mary Steenburgen, Tony Roberts and Jose Ferrer among them) can’t do much to up the energy levels of this hopelessly sleepy movie. Yet the cast provides one interesting footnote when viewed in the context of Allen’s filmography and biography: this was the first movie to star his future ex-partner Mia Farrow. Of all their possible beginnings, it seems in retrospect not to have been the most auspicious imaginable.

to-rome-with-love-woody-allen-penelope-cruz39. “To Rome with Love” (2012)
There’s nothing particularly obnoxious about Allen’s de rigeur Italian stop on his tour of the major cities of Europe that brought us a run of mostly ho-hum films over the past couple of decades. But there’s nothing particularly distinguished about it either, and with a cast that includes previous Allen ringers Judy Davis and Penelope Cruz along with fresh faces Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page and Greta Gerwig and the Eternal City as a backdrop, you can’t help but feel it should be more substantial. Part of the issue is a worse-than-usual melding of the film’s four separate strands, so that jumping from one to the next feels jarring rather than fluid. But this is mostly a story about romantic inspiration and obsession that feels uninspired and oddly cool to the touch, despite the hot Latin passions that the city of Fellini and Mastroianni should surely have evoked in as dedicated a cinephile as Allen. All of his Euro films have in some ways been love letters to their settings, but it’s not really fair that Rome gets little more than this hastily scribbled postcard.

Related posts:

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen Videos

Woody Allen – Concerto Parigi 1996 – Wild Man Blues Woody Allen & The Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” ( MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Paul Gauguin’s 3 questions examined!!!)

______________ Gauguin’s 3 Questions Paul Gauguin, now regarded as a French Post-Impressionist artist, was not received well by his old painter friends while living. And having abandoned his wife and children he had no options or resources for getting by. He never found artistic success, either critically or financially in his lifetime. However, there is […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen CRISIS IN SIX SCENES

______________ Woody Allen CRISIS IN SIX SCENES Crisis in Six Scenes S01E01 CZ titulky Something about television brings out the nostalgist in Woody Allen (well, y’know, even more than usual), and understandably – it’s a medium inextricably tied to his own early days. He got his start as a staff writer for The Colgate Comedy […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY First Look at Woody Allen’s Next Movie ‘Wonder Wheel’ Posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 by Jack Giroux

First Look at Woody Allen’s Next Movie ‘Wonder Wheel’ Posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 by Jack Giroux Another period piece is coming our way from writer-director Woody Allen. We know little about his latest movie, titled Wonder Wheel, which is typical of Allen’s movies. Rarely are character and plot details shared early on. But we […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY The Performance of all Woody Allen movies at the Box Office!!!

_ Woody Allen Bob Hope Tonight Show 1971 Woody Allen Actor Director Writer Date Title (click to view) Studio Lifetime Gross / Theaters Opening / Theaters Rank 7/15/16 Cafe Society LGF $11,103,205 631 $359,289 5 18 7/17/15 Irrational Man SPC $4,030,360 925 $175,312 7 36 7/25/14 Magic in the Moonlight SPC $10,539,326 964 $412,095 17 […]

“WOODY WEDNESDAY” WOODY ALLEN TURNS 81 5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE FILM GENIUS

__ The Woody Allen Special [1969] (Guests: Candice Bergen, Billy Graham and the 5th Dimension) Published on Sep 8, 2016 For all the Woody Allen/television fans, here is the rare 1969 CBS special! Featuring the flawless stand-up of Woody, and skits such as: Woody and Candice having to rehearse nude for an artistic play. A […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Happy Birthday Woody Allen: 15 Quotes By The Maverick Filmmaker

__ Woody Allen The Dean Martin Show Happy Birthday Woody Allen: 15 Quotes By The Maverick Filmmaker News18.com First published: December 1, 2016, 3:30 PM IST | Updated: December 1, 2016 One of the most celebrated filmmakers of Hollywood, Woody Allen turns 81 today. Born and raised in Brooklyn as Allen Konigsberg he is arguably […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Settling into a hotel bar in Soho after a long day shooting a film for Woody Allen in the Bronx, Justin Timberlake wastes no time ordering the first of several Vesper martinis. “I was terrified all day today, dude,”

___________ Justin Timberlake Talks ‘Trolls,’ Family Life and His New Album With Pharrell Williams Andrew Barker Senior Features Writer@barkerrant TOM MUNRO FOR VARIETY NOVEMBER 1, 2016 | 10:00AM PT Settling into a hotel bar in Soho after a long day shooting a film for Woody Allen in the Bronx, Justin Timberlake wastes no time ordering […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen’s 81st Birthday

_ Woody Allen – standup – ’65 – RARE! Happy 81st Birthday, Woody Allen December 2, 2016 1 Comment Woody Allen turns 81 today. And he shows no signs of slowing down. Allen spent his 80th year being remarkably prolific, even by his own standards. The end of 2015 saw that year’s film, Irrational Man, […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Everything We Know About Woody Allen’s 2017 Film With Kate Winslet And Justin Timberlake October 16, 2016

  _ Everything We Know About Woody Allen’s 2017 Film With Kate Winslet And Justin Timberlake October 16, 2016 3 Comments Woody Allen has, it seems, wrapped production on his 2017 Film. The new film stars Kate Winlset and Justin Timberlake. And despite some very public days of shooting, We still don’t know that much […]

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.

Related posts:

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen Videos

Woody Allen – Concerto Parigi 1996 – Wild Man Blues Woody Allen & The Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” ( MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Paul Gauguin’s 3 questions examined!!!)

______________ Gauguin’s 3 Questions Paul Gauguin, now regarded as a French Post-Impressionist artist, was not received well by his old painter friends while living. And having abandoned his wife and children he had no options or resources for getting by. He never found artistic success, either critically or financially in his lifetime. However, there is […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen CRISIS IN SIX SCENES

______________ Woody Allen CRISIS IN SIX SCENES Crisis in Six Scenes S01E01 CZ titulky Something about television brings out the nostalgist in Woody Allen (well, y’know, even more than usual), and understandably – it’s a medium inextricably tied to his own early days. He got his start as a staff writer for The Colgate Comedy […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY First Look at Woody Allen’s Next Movie ‘Wonder Wheel’ Posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 by Jack Giroux

First Look at Woody Allen’s Next Movie ‘Wonder Wheel’ Posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 by Jack Giroux Another period piece is coming our way from writer-director Woody Allen. We know little about his latest movie, titled Wonder Wheel, which is typical of Allen’s movies. Rarely are character and plot details shared early on. But we […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY The Performance of all Woody Allen movies at the Box Office!!!

_ Woody Allen Bob Hope Tonight Show 1971 Woody Allen Actor Director Writer Date Title (click to view) Studio Lifetime Gross / Theaters Opening / Theaters Rank 7/15/16 Cafe Society LGF $11,103,205 631 $359,289 5 18 7/17/15 Irrational Man SPC $4,030,360 925 $175,312 7 36 7/25/14 Magic in the Moonlight SPC $10,539,326 964 $412,095 17 […]

“WOODY WEDNESDAY” WOODY ALLEN TURNS 81 5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE FILM GENIUS

__ The Woody Allen Special [1969] (Guests: Candice Bergen, Billy Graham and the 5th Dimension) Published on Sep 8, 2016 For all the Woody Allen/television fans, here is the rare 1969 CBS special! Featuring the flawless stand-up of Woody, and skits such as: Woody and Candice having to rehearse nude for an artistic play. A […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Happy Birthday Woody Allen: 15 Quotes By The Maverick Filmmaker

__ Woody Allen The Dean Martin Show Happy Birthday Woody Allen: 15 Quotes By The Maverick Filmmaker News18.com First published: December 1, 2016, 3:30 PM IST | Updated: December 1, 2016 One of the most celebrated filmmakers of Hollywood, Woody Allen turns 81 today. Born and raised in Brooklyn as Allen Konigsberg he is arguably […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Settling into a hotel bar in Soho after a long day shooting a film for Woody Allen in the Bronx, Justin Timberlake wastes no time ordering the first of several Vesper martinis. “I was terrified all day today, dude,”

___________ Justin Timberlake Talks ‘Trolls,’ Family Life and His New Album With Pharrell Williams Andrew Barker Senior Features Writer@barkerrant TOM MUNRO FOR VARIETY NOVEMBER 1, 2016 | 10:00AM PT Settling into a hotel bar in Soho after a long day shooting a film for Woody Allen in the Bronx, Justin Timberlake wastes no time ordering […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen’s 81st Birthday

_ Woody Allen – standup – ’65 – RARE! Happy 81st Birthday, Woody Allen December 2, 2016 1 Comment Woody Allen turns 81 today. And he shows no signs of slowing down. Allen spent his 80th year being remarkably prolific, even by his own standards. The end of 2015 saw that year’s film, Irrational Man, […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Everything We Know About Woody Allen’s 2017 Film With Kate Winslet And Justin Timberlake October 16, 2016

  _ Everything We Know About Woody Allen’s 2017 Film With Kate Winslet And Justin Timberlake October 16, 2016 3 Comments Woody Allen has, it seems, wrapped production on his 2017 Film. The new film stars Kate Winlset and Justin Timberlake. And despite some very public days of shooting, We still don’t know that much […]

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

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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

anything-else-woody-allen47. “Anything Else” (2003)
There are a lot of things wrong with “Anything Else.” Jason Biggs halts his speech more than Jerry Stiller after root canal surgery and often looks blankly off-camera like he’s after a batch of pastries to hump. His girlfriend, played by Christina Ricci, seemingly cast to type as a pathological neurotic with body dysmorphia and an “offbeat sexual quality,” is largely awful too. Only Stockard Channing‘s Paula —an outrageously volatile former interior designer desperate for Biggs to write her new “nightclub act”— can inject this leaden affair with any life. A couple of one-liners fly by (“I should have known something was wrong on the wedding night when her family danced around my table chanting, ‘We will make him one of us!’”), but Allen miscasts himself as reckless, apocalyptic grouch who drops in for random rants about rampant anti-Semitism and the meaninglessness of our daily existence and who is prone to increasing acts of violence. The film’s unrelenting and mirthless post-911 anhedonia is oddly car-crash compelling, but just because it’s one of Allen’s angriest films doesn’t mean it’s any good.

Cassandra_27s-Dream-59478646. “Cassandra’s Dream” (2007)
Certainly the nadir of Woody’s recent “European period” and vying for the title of the worst film of his entire career, “Cassandra’s Dream” is a slow, on-the-nose, plodding, wholly unconvincing crime caper that doesn’t even crack a smile, let alone inspire any laughs. The tale of two brothers (Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell) who agree to kill a man for their rich uncle (Tom Wilkinson), the movie is clumsily paced and lacks even the most minimal action required for a thriller to actually, you know, thrill. Even with some stellar behind-the-scenes talent (Vilmos Zsigmond shot it and Philip Glassprovided a rare original score) and notable supporting performances (eternally undervalued MVP Sally Hawkins), the movie falls unbelievably flat. It’s not a spoiler to say that in the final scene, a detective describes a double murder that’s central to the plot… and which happens completely off-screen. The film was released in the U.S. at the beginning of 2008, and the only silver lining was that later that same summer, Allen redeemed himself with the much, much better “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”

the curse of the jade scorpion woody allen45. “The Curse of the Jade Scorpion” (2001)
Every year brings us a new Woody Allen picture, bringing with it either grousing about how the creator of Alvy Singer is tarnishing his cinematic legacy, or that this new film marks a stunning return to form and everything’s going to be okay forever. It’s a pattern critics have slid lazily into at least as far as “The Curse of the Jade Scorpion” 15 years ago. But even with the best will in the world, you can see why: the film’s period setting, slight plot (a magician hypnotizes Woody into becoming a jewel thief against his will) and Allen’s subsequent inability to find funding for his films to be made in America affirm the now-orthodox decline thesis. Allen is pretty terrible in the lead role of C.W Briggs, “a shallow, skirt-chasing egomaniac” and “myopic insurance clerk” displaying not one whit of sexual tension with co-star Helen Hunt, the ‘saucy’ efficiency expert with feminine wiles up the yin-yang. And he was frankly far too old at the time of this film to be hit on by an earthen, breast-exposing Charlize Theron.

Hollywood ending44. “Hollywood Ending” (2002)
When you shoot a movie a year, there’s no level of genius that can keep inspiration consistent every time out. And so you get the occasional “Hollywood Ending,” a remarkably tone-deaf Hollywood satire that’s both too inside-baseball and too overwhelmingly broad. Allen plays a celebrated director well past his prime (hmm…) who gets back into the film business by teaming with his ex-wife in a high-pressure situation that causes him to become psychosomatically blind. Did you guess that the punchline involves him directing the film anyway? “Hollywood Ending” isn’t helped by the fact that Allen is working with one of his least-exceptional casts, giving major screen time to the manic Tea Leoni and the bronzed, oblivious George Hamilton, resulting in a film that wants to take advantage of the lower standards of recent  yuckfests while maintaining a classic Hollywood vibe, but which falls between each.

Related posts:

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen Videos

Woody Allen – Concerto Parigi 1996 – Wild Man Blues Woody Allen & The Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” ( MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Paul Gauguin’s 3 questions examined!!!)

______________ Gauguin’s 3 Questions Paul Gauguin, now regarded as a French Post-Impressionist artist, was not received well by his old painter friends while living. And having abandoned his wife and children he had no options or resources for getting by. He never found artistic success, either critically or financially in his lifetime. However, there is […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen CRISIS IN SIX SCENES

______________ Woody Allen CRISIS IN SIX SCENES Crisis in Six Scenes S01E01 CZ titulky Something about television brings out the nostalgist in Woody Allen (well, y’know, even more than usual), and understandably – it’s a medium inextricably tied to his own early days. He got his start as a staff writer for The Colgate Comedy […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY First Look at Woody Allen’s Next Movie ‘Wonder Wheel’ Posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 by Jack Giroux

First Look at Woody Allen’s Next Movie ‘Wonder Wheel’ Posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 by Jack Giroux Another period piece is coming our way from writer-director Woody Allen. We know little about his latest movie, titled Wonder Wheel, which is typical of Allen’s movies. Rarely are character and plot details shared early on. But we […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY The Performance of all Woody Allen movies at the Box Office!!!

_ Woody Allen Bob Hope Tonight Show 1971 Woody Allen Actor Director Writer Date Title (click to view) Studio Lifetime Gross / Theaters Opening / Theaters Rank 7/15/16 Cafe Society LGF $11,103,205 631 $359,289 5 18 7/17/15 Irrational Man SPC $4,030,360 925 $175,312 7 36 7/25/14 Magic in the Moonlight SPC $10,539,326 964 $412,095 17 […]

“WOODY WEDNESDAY” WOODY ALLEN TURNS 81 5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE FILM GENIUS

__ The Woody Allen Special [1969] (Guests: Candice Bergen, Billy Graham and the 5th Dimension) Published on Sep 8, 2016 For all the Woody Allen/television fans, here is the rare 1969 CBS special! Featuring the flawless stand-up of Woody, and skits such as: Woody and Candice having to rehearse nude for an artistic play. A […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Happy Birthday Woody Allen: 15 Quotes By The Maverick Filmmaker

__ Woody Allen The Dean Martin Show Happy Birthday Woody Allen: 15 Quotes By The Maverick Filmmaker News18.com First published: December 1, 2016, 3:30 PM IST | Updated: December 1, 2016 One of the most celebrated filmmakers of Hollywood, Woody Allen turns 81 today. Born and raised in Brooklyn as Allen Konigsberg he is arguably […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Settling into a hotel bar in Soho after a long day shooting a film for Woody Allen in the Bronx, Justin Timberlake wastes no time ordering the first of several Vesper martinis. “I was terrified all day today, dude,”

___________ Justin Timberlake Talks ‘Trolls,’ Family Life and His New Album With Pharrell Williams Andrew Barker Senior Features Writer@barkerrant TOM MUNRO FOR VARIETY NOVEMBER 1, 2016 | 10:00AM PT Settling into a hotel bar in Soho after a long day shooting a film for Woody Allen in the Bronx, Justin Timberlake wastes no time ordering […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen’s 81st Birthday

_ Woody Allen – standup – ’65 – RARE! Happy 81st Birthday, Woody Allen December 2, 2016 1 Comment Woody Allen turns 81 today. And he shows no signs of slowing down. Allen spent his 80th year being remarkably prolific, even by his own standards. The end of 2015 saw that year’s film, Irrational Man, […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Everything We Know About Woody Allen’s 2017 Film With Kate Winslet And Justin Timberlake October 16, 2016

  _ Everything We Know About Woody Allen’s 2017 Film With Kate Winslet And Justin Timberlake October 16, 2016 3 Comments Woody Allen has, it seems, wrapped production on his 2017 Film. The new film stars Kate Winlset and Justin Timberlake. And despite some very public days of shooting, We still don’t know that much […]

 

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WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen’s ‘Wonder Wheel’ Scores December Release (EXCLUSIVE) Brent Lang

 

 

Kate Winslet & Justin Timberlake FIGHT On Sets Of Woody Allen’s Next | Lehren Hollywood

 

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Woody Allen’s ‘Wonder Wheel’ Scores December Release (EXCLUSIVE)

Woody Allen Cannes

MATT BARON/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

JUNE 12, 2017 | 01:03PM PT

Woody Allen’s next film will hit theaters this December, Variety has learned.

Wonder Wheel,” a drama set in Coney Island during the 1950s, will debut in limited release on Dec. 1, 2017. That pits it against “The Disaster Artist,” a comedy with James Franco about the making of the cult film “The Room.” It’s actually a pretty open period on the release calendar. Disney will launch “Coco,” an animated movie, on the weekend before “Wonder Wheel” opens. The weekend after “Wonder Wheel” lands will see the release of Guillermo Del Toro’s fantasy drama “The Shape of Water,” but many films seem to be steering clear of December. That likely has a lot to do with “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which hits theaters on Dec. 15.

Amazon Studios is distributing “Wonder Wheel,” having previously worked with Allen on last year’s “Cafe Society.” That comedic drama went on to make $43.8 million globally. “Wonder Wheel’s” cast includes Jim Belushi, Juno Temple, Justin Timberlake, and Kate Winslet. A logline for the film says that it will contain “larger-than-life characters, lovers, infidelity, and gangsters.” It’s Winslet’s first time working with Allen. She was previously tapped for 2005’s “Match Point,” but had to drop out for family reasons.

The December release will allow “Wonder Wheel” to qualify for this year’s Academy Awards. Allen is a favorite with Oscar voters, having racked up statues for the likes of “Hannah and Her Sisters,” “Annie Hall,” and “Midnight in Paris.”

Amazon has only been producing original films for two years, but it has already established itself as a major presence. It released “Manchester by the Sea,” which won Oscars for Casey Affleck and writer-director Kenneth Lonergan, and picked up another Academy Award for “The Salesman,” which won best foreign language film. Upcoming Amazon releases include “The Big Sick,” a romantic comedy from “Silicon Valley’s” Kumail Nanjiani, and “Wonderstruck,” an off-beat drama from Todd Haynes.

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Related posts:

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen Videos

Woody Allen – Concerto Parigi 1996 – Wild Man Blues Woody Allen & The Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” ( MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Paul Gauguin’s 3 questions examined!!!)

______________ Gauguin’s 3 Questions Paul Gauguin, now regarded as a French Post-Impressionist artist, was not received well by his old painter friends while living. And having abandoned his wife and children he had no options or resources for getting by. He never found artistic success, either critically or financially in his lifetime. However, there is […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen CRISIS IN SIX SCENES

______________ Woody Allen CRISIS IN SIX SCENES Crisis in Six Scenes S01E01 CZ titulky Something about television brings out the nostalgist in Woody Allen (well, y’know, even more than usual), and understandably – it’s a medium inextricably tied to his own early days. He got his start as a staff writer for The Colgate Comedy […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY First Look at Woody Allen’s Next Movie ‘Wonder Wheel’ Posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 by Jack Giroux

First Look at Woody Allen’s Next Movie ‘Wonder Wheel’ Posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 by Jack Giroux Another period piece is coming our way from writer-director Woody Allen. We know little about his latest movie, titled Wonder Wheel, which is typical of Allen’s movies. Rarely are character and plot details shared early on. But we […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY The Performance of all Woody Allen movies at the Box Office!!!

_ Woody Allen Bob Hope Tonight Show 1971 Woody Allen Actor Director Writer Date Title (click to view) Studio Lifetime Gross / Theaters Opening / Theaters Rank 7/15/16 Cafe Society LGF $11,103,205 631 $359,289 5 18 7/17/15 Irrational Man SPC $4,030,360 925 $175,312 7 36 7/25/14 Magic in the Moonlight SPC $10,539,326 964 $412,095 17 […]

“WOODY WEDNESDAY” WOODY ALLEN TURNS 81 5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE FILM GENIUS

__ The Woody Allen Special [1969] (Guests: Candice Bergen, Billy Graham and the 5th Dimension) Published on Sep 8, 2016 For all the Woody Allen/television fans, here is the rare 1969 CBS special! Featuring the flawless stand-up of Woody, and skits such as: Woody and Candice having to rehearse nude for an artistic play. A […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Happy Birthday Woody Allen: 15 Quotes By The Maverick Filmmaker

__ Woody Allen The Dean Martin Show Happy Birthday Woody Allen: 15 Quotes By The Maverick Filmmaker News18.com First published: December 1, 2016, 3:30 PM IST | Updated: December 1, 2016 One of the most celebrated filmmakers of Hollywood, Woody Allen turns 81 today. Born and raised in Brooklyn as Allen Konigsberg he is arguably […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Settling into a hotel bar in Soho after a long day shooting a film for Woody Allen in the Bronx, Justin Timberlake wastes no time ordering the first of several Vesper martinis. “I was terrified all day today, dude,”

___________ Justin Timberlake Talks ‘Trolls,’ Family Life and His New Album With Pharrell Williams Andrew Barker Senior Features Writer@barkerrant TOM MUNRO FOR VARIETY NOVEMBER 1, 2016 | 10:00AM PT Settling into a hotel bar in Soho after a long day shooting a film for Woody Allen in the Bronx, Justin Timberlake wastes no time ordering […]

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WOODY WEDNESDAY Everything We Know About Woody Allen’s 2017 Film With Kate Winslet And Justin Timberlake October 16, 2016

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WOODY WEDNESDAY A First look at a scene from Woody Allen’s new movie WONDER WHEEL!!!

 

 

Kate Winslet & Justin Timberlake FIGHT On Sets Of Woody Allen’s Next | Lehren Hollywood

Wonder Wheel (2017)

Full Cast & Crew

Directed by

Woody Allen

Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)

Woody Allen

Cast

Kate Winslet Kate Winslet
Ginny
Juno Temple Juno Temple
Justin Timberlake Justin Timberlake
Mickey Rubin
Debi Mazar Debi Mazar
Actress
Jim Belushi Jim Belushi
Geneva Carr Geneva Carr
Mary
Max Casella Max Casella
Tony Sirico Tony Sirico
Steve Schirripa Steve Schirripa
Matthew Maher Matthew Maher
Nancy Ellen Shore Nancy Ellen Shore
Woman on Beach / Boardwalk
Marko Caka Marko Caka
Food Vendor
Jack Gore Jack Gore
Amelie McKendry Amelie McKendry
Woman at Amusement Park
Brittini Schreiber Brittini Schreiber
Boardwalk Lady / Soldier’s Girlfriend
Candice A. Buenrostro Candice A. Buenrostro
Capri Waitress
Jeremy Francis Bell Jeremy Francis Bell
Patriotic Boardwalk couple
Hannah Hartwell Hannah Hartwell
Beach Goer
Tod Rainey Tod Rainey
Grumpy Train Passanger
Jacob Berger Jacob Berger
Jeweler
Julia Losner Julia Losner
Beach Goer / Swimmer
John Druzba John Druzba
Movie Attendee
John Mainieri John Mainieri
John, Capri owner
Robert C. Kirk Robert C. Kirk
Joe
Max Ripley Max Ripley
Boy / featured background
Dominic Albano Dominic Albano
Sailor
Kejvi Rapaj Kejvi Rapaj
Beach girl
Gregory O Nicolas Gregory O Nicolas
Featured boy merry go round
Olivia Twarowski Olivia Twarowski
Boardwalk Kid / Merry Go Round
Michael Zegarski Michael Zegarski
Danny
Michael Striano Michael Striano
Man on Phone
Evin Cross Evin Cross
Boy on beach / boardwalk #120
John Michael Bradshaw John Michael Bradshaw
Patron at Ruby’s (uncredited)
Neil Fleischer Neil Fleischer
Man at Carousel (uncredited)

Related posts:

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen Videos

Woody Allen – Concerto Parigi 1996 – Wild Man Blues Woody Allen & The Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” ( MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Paul Gauguin’s 3 questions examined!!!)

______________ Gauguin’s 3 Questions Paul Gauguin, now regarded as a French Post-Impressionist artist, was not received well by his old painter friends while living. And having abandoned his wife and children he had no options or resources for getting by. He never found artistic success, either critically or financially in his lifetime. However, there is […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen CRISIS IN SIX SCENES

______________ Woody Allen CRISIS IN SIX SCENES Crisis in Six Scenes S01E01 CZ titulky Something about television brings out the nostalgist in Woody Allen (well, y’know, even more than usual), and understandably – it’s a medium inextricably tied to his own early days. He got his start as a staff writer for The Colgate Comedy […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY First Look at Woody Allen’s Next Movie ‘Wonder Wheel’ Posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 by Jack Giroux

First Look at Woody Allen’s Next Movie ‘Wonder Wheel’ Posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 by Jack Giroux Another period piece is coming our way from writer-director Woody Allen. We know little about his latest movie, titled Wonder Wheel, which is typical of Allen’s movies. Rarely are character and plot details shared early on. But we […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY The Performance of all Woody Allen movies at the Box Office!!!

_ Woody Allen Bob Hope Tonight Show 1971 Woody Allen Actor Director Writer Date Title (click to view) Studio Lifetime Gross / Theaters Opening / Theaters Rank 7/15/16 Cafe Society LGF $11,103,205 631 $359,289 5 18 7/17/15 Irrational Man SPC $4,030,360 925 $175,312 7 36 7/25/14 Magic in the Moonlight SPC $10,539,326 964 $412,095 17 […]

“WOODY WEDNESDAY” WOODY ALLEN TURNS 81 5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE FILM GENIUS

__ The Woody Allen Special [1969] (Guests: Candice Bergen, Billy Graham and the 5th Dimension) Published on Sep 8, 2016 For all the Woody Allen/television fans, here is the rare 1969 CBS special! Featuring the flawless stand-up of Woody, and skits such as: Woody and Candice having to rehearse nude for an artistic play. A […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Happy Birthday Woody Allen: 15 Quotes By The Maverick Filmmaker

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WOODY WEDNESDAY Settling into a hotel bar in Soho after a long day shooting a film for Woody Allen in the Bronx, Justin Timberlake wastes no time ordering the first of several Vesper martinis. “I was terrified all day today, dude,”

___________ Justin Timberlake Talks ‘Trolls,’ Family Life and His New Album With Pharrell Williams Andrew Barker Senior Features Writer@barkerrant TOM MUNRO FOR VARIETY NOVEMBER 1, 2016 | 10:00AM PT Settling into a hotel bar in Soho after a long day shooting a film for Woody Allen in the Bronx, Justin Timberlake wastes no time ordering […]

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WOODY WEDNESDAY Everything We Know About Woody Allen’s 2017 Film With Kate Winslet And Justin Timberlake October 16, 2016

  _ Everything We Know About Woody Allen’s 2017 Film With Kate Winslet And Justin Timberlake October 16, 2016 3 Comments Woody Allen has, it seems, wrapped production on his 2017 Film. The new film stars Kate Winlset and Justin Timberlake. And despite some very public days of shooting, We still don’t know that much […]

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WOODY WEDNESDAY A Look at the Long Forgotten Woody Allen Special, with Guest Star Rev. Billy Graham BY RAMSEY ESS JANUARY 13, 2012

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A Look at the Long Forgotten Woody Allen Special, with Guest Star Rev. Billy Graham

The Paley Center for Media, which has locations in both New York and LA, dedicates itself to the preservation of television and radio history. Inside their vast archives of more than 120,000 television shows, commercials, and radio programs, there are thousands of important and funny programs waiting to be rediscovered by comedy nerds like you and me. Each week, this column will highlight a new gem waiting for you at the Paley Library to quietly laugh at. (Seriously, it’s a library, so keep it down.)

1969 was a big year for Woody Allen. He had just written, directed and starred in the movie Take the Money and Run, he was appearing on Broadway in a play he wrote entitled Play it Again, Sam and to top it all off, on September 21, on CBS, America was treated to The Woody Allen Special, a one-time only oddity that hasn’t been seen since. A very strange combination of elements, The Woody Allen Special was a variety show in every sense of the word.

It opened with Woody doing a stand-up monologue (in which he manages to plug both of his previously mentioned specials). In it, Woody hits all of the topics that we now know him for. Sex and death (“both only come once in my lifetime”), his mother, (“I asked how do I get babies? She thought I said rabies. So, I was bit by a dog”) and cowardice (it’s far too long to quote, but he tells a great story about hiding in the closet from robbers, which turns out to be the TV on in the other room.)

From there, Woody introduces a sketch featuring a young Candice Bergen, in which the two play a young pair of Broadway actors on their first rehearsal for a new show. Enter the loud, stubborn director who informs them that the first scene they’ll be performing is going to be done nude. When they protest, they’re told that if they’re not naked by the time he returns, they’re out of the show. This leads to a lengthy, but funny scene in which the timid pair reluctantly strips down in front of each other, after a lot of bargaining.

The one thing that sticks out about the sketch, is that’s it’s very clear that Woody wrote it. Not just because of the tone and style of the sketch, but because Woody seems to be the only one with any funny lines. When they protest to the director, Candice is given the line, “Why does it have to be nude? Why can’t it be something that gives the same effect? Like clothes!” Whereas Woody gets “My mother is coming! She hasn’t seen me nude in over thirty years! She’ll know something is wrong!” And then once the pair begins to strip, as you might expect, it’s Woody who is put on the defensive and is the butt of the joke. But while it is a little one-sided, that side is entertaining.

A second sketch featuring Bergen, shown later in the special, has the opposite problem in which neither of the pair has any funny lines. However, this is because it’s a silent movie pastiche with the potentially dirty title of “Cupid’s Shaft.” The short version of this: Woody plays a down on his luck hobo who falls in love with Bergen, a wealthy heiress who has amnesia after she bangs her head against something. They fall in love, she hits her head again and remembers everything, hits it again and falls back in love, and on and on. Woody and Bergen are going to marry until he leaves to prepare and she regains her memories to return to her fiancé who wishes to marry her immediately at the very park where she planned on marrying Woody. It’s not so much funny as cute, and not so much short as way too long.

The final sketch that the pair performed was referred to as “An Original Folk Tale.” Candice plays a beautiful but stupid girl who is brought to Woody, dressed as a rabbi, to fix her. He trains her day after day until she seems to have improved, and he sends her to be unveiled at Norman Mailer’s Annual Cocktail Party and Fist Fight. There she meets Woody Allen, minus the rabbi getup, and when she realizes it’s him; she confesses her love for him. They embrace and the narrator sums it all up: “two different people learned to live in harmony and mutual respect. Until… the divorce.”

Beyond these sketches, there are some rather strange things going on with this special. (And I’m not even going to talk about the fact that all of the commercials are for a company called Lindy’s and feature Tony Randall as a detective who is trying to figure out who the sponsor of the show is…) For example, after the first sketch, Woody introduces the band The Fifth Dimension (best known for their version of “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In”) who performs a medley of two of their hits. Right. I was not expecting this from The Woody Allen Special either.

But strangest of all is when Woody brings out his guest: the Reverend Billy Graham. Lucky for us, somebody has uploaded this to YouTube.

Woody Allen interviews Billy Graham pt. – Featured Video – GodTube Logged In.flv


October 25, 2011

Published on Jan 29, 2017

But in case you don’t want to watch the whole thing, it’s a very respectful conversation between two people who greatly disagree with one another, but are open to listening to what the other person has to say. And I don’t care what it says about me, I think it’s hilarious to hear Woody, in front of one of the most famous religious figures of his day, say that not having premarital sex is like “getting a driver’s license without a learner’s permit.” Or when Woody says that he doesn’t use any type of drug and Graham admits to drinking coffee and says he need’s Woody’s help, Allen can’t resist responding “Yes, if you have faith in me, I will lead you.” It’s one of the strangest pairings in all of television and it makes for some really compelling watching.

But is it still funny? I would say mostly. Some of the sketches overstay their welcome, and the nude actor sketch doesn’t really have an ending, but when Woody lands a solid joke, there’s no stopping him. Luckily there are enough of those to make it worth your while. However, if you can’t make it down to the Paley Center, do watch the Billy Graham interview above, and see what intelligent televised discourse looked like, before we went and ruined it.

Ramsey Ess is a freelance writer for television, the head writer of his website, and a guy on Twitter.

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WOODY ALLEN: Are there any questions?

MEMBER OF THE AUDIENCE: Mr. Graham I read that you don’t believe in premarital sexual relations. Is this true?

BILLY GRAHAM: It is not a matter of what I believe. It is what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that premarital sexual relations are wrong.

WOODY ALLEN: To me that would be like getting a driver’s license without a learner’s permit first.

BILLY GRAHAM: Let us just see. We have to have rules to live by. What we saying is that we are going to play a baseball game without any rules. We are going to live a moral life without any rules. Well God has laid down certain rules and said if you want the best of life and you want complete happiness and fulfillment then live by these rules. And one of those rules is THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT IMMORALITY.

WOODY ALLEN: Ah but what a minute. Say you are dating a girl, right?

BILLY GRAHAM: Well I don’t intend to date anymore. Let’s choose you.

WOODY ALLEN: Let’s say I am dating a girl and I am going to marry her. She has begged me to marry her. This was after a while or it is even more interesting if I am forced to marry her, but now don’t I want to get some idea of the territory?

BILLY GRAHAM: You see that most sociologists today and most psychologist today would agree with the Bible that there are very serious problems involved. God did not say THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT IMMORALITY BEFORE MARRIAGE  in order to keep you from having a good time or to keep you from having fun.

WOODY ALLEN: Yes he did.

BILLY GRAHAM: He said that to protect you. He said that to protect you psychologically. To protect your body. Today venereal disease is at an all time high and illegitimacy is at an all time high despite of all of our medical science. And in all of these God says I want to make you happy. I want to help you and I have given you some rules to live by and this is the rule.

WOODY ALLEN: Let’s say that I  do marry the girl and I finally get to investigate her carnally and it turns out that she is an absolute YO YO.

BILLY GRAHAM: Well, I don’t think that will happen to you. That is a hypothetical question.

In 1984 Adrian Rogers said in sermon, “Playboy’s Payday,” these words:

(The text for this sermon was the whole chapter of Proverbs 5)

In Sweden, Sweden’s a liberated country, they have open pornography, open prostitution, free love in Sweden.  It’s all accepted. That’s supposed to be the liberated country in the Western world.  The Swedes! Do you know what nation has the highest divorce rate of any nation?  Sweden. .  “God is not mocked.”  I’m telling you there is a disappointment in sin.  The cup of sin is sweet, but the dregs are bitter indeed.

They did an in-depth study at Stanford University. These are not a bunch of preachers, and their conclusion of the in-depth study was this:  that the more promiscuous people were before marriage, the less chance for happiness after marriage.   The try-it-before-you-marry-it idea may sound cute, but it’s not in the Word of God, dear friend.  This idea of living together to see if you’re compatible, the more promiscuous people were before marriage, the less chance of opportunity for satisfaction after marriage. Young people, many of them right now are on the beaches of Fort Lauderdale, many of them have gone down there attempting to make it with some girl, to make it with some boy, to jump in bed with somebody. They think that’s the way.   And our young people are being told that so much that they think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it!

(Adrian Rogers pictured below)

Image result for young adrian rogers

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WOODY WEDNESDAY Reviews of past Woody Allen Movies PART 7

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Whatever Works – Monologo Inicial de Larry David Sobre la Raza Humana [Sub.Español]



Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
96 min., rated R.
Grade: B 

Shaking off his love for Manhattan, the witty and sexy concoction that is “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” is writer-director Woody Allen’s fourth consecutive European project. The title refers to the names of two American women traveling in Barcelona, Spain for a summer vacation. 

Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson, Allen’s newest muse) are completely diverse best friends, who meet and are offered to be seduced by a suave painter/Casanova, Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem), for a weekend full of wine and lovemaking. The strait-laced Vicky is married to a boring white man, while Cristina is the more adventurous one. Soon, Cristina settles into a lusty three-way relationship with Juan and his unpredictable, loose-cannon ex-wife, Maria Elena (Penelope Cruz, who won an Oscar for her fiery performance). 

Allen’s breezy and perhaps “Frenchiest” piece of work is cast to perfection and the attractive stars are engaging in their performances, heightened by a palpably laid-back atmosphere, but it’s not without its flaws. Christopher Evan Welch’s narration is way too obvious, an unnecessary and condescending device used rather than allowing the images and performances to speak for themselves. Even the exotic Spanish country is a character in itself, and Javier Aguirresarobe’s cinematography gorgeous. 

And even if this trifle ultimately doesn’t add up to a lot, the writing is smart, the music charmingly quirky, and the characters richly written. 
Whatever Works (2009)
92 min., rated PG-13.
Grade: B
 
Woody Allen dusted off an old script once intended for Zero Mostel and re-wrote it to suit the talents of “Curb Your Enthusiasm”‘s Larry David. Behind the camera, Woody is in fine fettle with “Whatever Works,” the auteur’s first comfort-zone return to New York City in five years after going European. In fact, it works as a time warp to earlier Woody. 

David is the right replacement for Allen’s archetypal nebbish, eccentric persona, playing Boris Yellnikoff, a limping, crotchety, cynical old Jewish misanthrope who talks down to everyone, including us directly. Right off the bat, Boris breaks the fourth wall and bitter Boris makes it loud and clear that he’s not a likable guy. And this is not “the feel-good movie of the year,” so if we want to feel good “go get a foot massage.” A self-absorbed, self-professed genius who thinks all children are imbeciles and a germaphobe who sings the “Happy Birthday” song twice when washing his hands, Boris attempts suicide by jumping out his apartment window but hits the canopy. He shows a hint of humanity (after a while, of course) when taking in Melodie St. Ann Celestine (a beguiling Evan Rachel Wood), a Mississippian runaway waif begging for food. Melodie develops a crush on him, Boris thinks it’s inappropriate, but whatever works. 

The Boris character is off-putting, but he warms up, and his courtship with Melodie is happily treated with charm, not smarm. David (seeing his chicken legs in shorts) and Wood are excellent, as are Patricia Clarkson and Ed Begley Jr., as Melodie’s divorced parents, who evolve their characters into interesting directions. 

“Whatever Works” may not be quintessential Woody, as it’s scraps of his other work, but still a sharply written, enjoyable diversion with New York flavor, so whatever works. 



You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010)
98 min., rated R. 
Grade: C

Woody Allen rejuvenated himself five years ago with “Match Point” in London, and now returns to the European city, filling his yearly quota. Like the film points out from the start and at the end, Woody’s trifling “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” is just like the old Shakespeare quote, “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Although Allen is no idiot, this entry is more of a meaningless exercise filled with a talented cast reading his Allen-y dialogue in a poorly used London. 

As this joyless tale of marriage foibles and extramarital lust would have it, everyone desires something in their unfulfilled lives, but hasn’t Allen said enough on the subject? The daffy Gemma Jones and Anthony Hopkins play a newly separated older couple when the old guy, working out, tanning, and teeth-whitening to seek his lost youth, marries a flashy ex-prostitute (Lucy Punch), while she listens to a fortune-telling friend who tells her she’ll meet someone great. The couple’s daughter (Naomi Watts) has her own marriage unravelling with her self-absorbed novelist husband (Josh Brolin), who’s attracted to their soon-to-be-married neighbor/muse (Slumdog Millionaire’s Freida Pinto) while said wife’s tempted by her handsome boss (a wasted Antonio Banderas). 

Most of these characters are unlikable whiners that we don’t care about, don’t deserve what they want, and stay the same throughout. 

“You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” has its moments and has the tone of a feather, but it’s a shruggable effort from Woody Allen of all people. The narration is grating by Zak Orth, sounding a lot like Allen himself, and feels more like a demonstration. And Brolin has to be the most misguided candidate to impersonate Allen’s neuroses or call his love object “a hot little number.” Pinto, loved by the camera, and Punch, an absolute floozy hoot, land the most impression. 

Allen tries to say that illusions work better than the medicine, but his new movie is only an illusion of his earlier, better work. 

 

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WOODY WEDNESDAY Reviews of past Woody Allen Movies PART 6

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Match Point – Trailer (Ponto Final) – Woody Allen

Reviews of past Woody Allen Movies



Match Point (2005)
124 min., rated R.
Grade: B + 

Although there’s no universal truth for the last time Woody Allen made a great picture (his last five or so were enjoyable if not great), “Match Point” marks Allen’s true comeback and full-hearted accomplishment. It’s uncharted territory, meaning it’s not a comedy and he leaves his beloved New York for a literal change of scenery in London. And it’s his longest work to date. 

Sure, this dramatic film still opens classically with the same white fonted credits over black, but it’s all scratchy opera records rather than the old jazz standards. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, not asked to mimic Allen’s fumbly neurosis, plays Chris, a slick Dublin-born fellow who comes to London to work as a club tennis pro. He meets rich good chap Tom (Matthew Goode) and is quickly taken into the high-society family fold that he’s soon in a relationship with Chris’s sweet sister, Chloe (Emily Mortimer). Chris’s attention is instantly absorbed by Nola (Scarlett Johansson), a flirtatious starving actress from Colorado, also Tom’s fiancee. Eventually, he’s welcomed into the father’s business firm, flourishes, and marries Chloe. But when Tom unexpectedly dumps Nola, Chris decides to have his cake and eat it too, as he embarks on a secret affair with Nola and things just get complicated from there. 

Bubbling through “Match Point,” as voiced by Meyers’ Chris, is a metaphor of luck over morality that’s first represented visually by a tennis ball hitting the net. The coolly deliberate story starts with its class distinctions, then has some beats as an adultery drama, and changes gears into a high-stakes thriller but in plausible fashion. Allen covers some of the same themes and philosophies—infidelity, lust, obsession, morality—from his previous work, especially his “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” as he evokes Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” and Hitchcock albeit with subtlety and without clichés. The ending is not mechanical either but more of a meditation on crime, chance, and fate. 

Meyers brings the right kind of surface charm and outward composure to the increasingly immoral Chris whose consequences of his actions turn out lucky, not great. Johansson is absolutely enticing and seductive with her throaty, come-hither sex appeal as Nola, although her character becomes more of a nag even after a crucial plot development. Meyers and Johansson smolder on screen together. Mortimer is lovely but her Chloe is so damn naïve and passive-aggressive even when she’s pushy about having a baby (her character and a key scene recall Mia Farrow’s Hannah in “Hannah and Her Sisters”). 

Most unlike any other film the auteur has made, “Match Point” is sexy, smart, serious-minded, and Allen’s most confident, elegantly shot filmmaking in a while. The man’s 70 and this is his 36th feature film, if you’re keeping track, and that’s not just from years of hard luck. 


Scoop (2006)
96 min., rated PG-13.
Grade: B 

“Minor Allen” was nothing new before last year’s “Match Point,” Woody Allen’s most original and Hitchcockian piece of work in a good while, but now the auteur is back to his trifling tricks. No matter, Allen’s follow-up “Scoop,” also set in London, is light, beguiling good fun. 

Sondra (a likable Scarlett Johansson), a Brooklyn journalism student visiting the Big Ben city, gets handpicked to go on stage by magician Sid Waterman (Allen). Inside a box, she comes across the spirit of famous reporter Joe Strombel (Ian McShane) who hands his scoop over to Sondra—he knows the identity of the Tarot Card Killer. She decides to go undercover, and together Sondra and Sid contrive to meet the suspect, Peter Lyman (a suave, charming Hugh Jackman), at a private club pool (she’s posing as an aspiring actress and Sid is her father). But of course, Sondra begins to fall hard for Peter even if he’s a murderer. 

The droopy-eyed Allen is really beginning to look his age (70) on screen, last appearing three years ago in “Anything Else,” but his one-liners still pop (“I was born into the Hebrew persuasion, but when I got older I converted to narcissism” or “I never gain an ounce, because my anxiety acts like aerobics so I get the exercise.”). His bug-eyed expression behind the wheel of a European smart car is hilarious. Johansson, still a cutie behind those mousy Mia Farrow glasses and night-time retainer, is a good foil for Allen, like the next Diane Keaton. Thankfully, Allen’s more of a father figure than a love interest for her, but trying her hand at fostering the Jewish kvetch’s mannered-neurotic shtick, the leading lady is not much of a bumbler. McShane, first shown on a ship guided by the Grim Reaper (a nod to Allen’s Love and Death?), is mostly a plot device for the film. 

Music by Peter Tchaikovsky and Johann Strauss Jr., as well as “In the Hall Of The Mountain King,” add to the lark-ish charm. 

A slight effort, borrowing a bit from “Manhattan Murder Mystery,” “The Curse of the Jade Scorpion,” and “Small Time Crooks,” and the whodunit mystery isn’t really worth solving, but “Scoop” is a silly charmer that simply wins you over. 


Cassandra’s Dream (2007)
108 min., rated PG-13.
Grade: C 

Oh, how far the great Woody Allen has fallen. On the British heels of “Match Point” and “Scoop” now comes “Cassandra’s Dream,” an ineffectively weighty thriller about money, class, family, and murder, and it seems the filmmaker’s stuck this time in London without a passport. 

Allen’s fresh new players Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell play two Cockney blue-collar brothers who dream of striking it rich and having a boat to call their own. Terry (Farrell) is a gambling mechanic in a steadily happy relationship and Ian (McGregor) is a would-be entrepreneur who pawns himself off as a rich tycoon to earn the fancy of a self-obsessed actress (newcomer Hayley Atwell). When both run into financial ruins, they ask for help from their well-off Uncle Howard (Tom Wilkinson). He agrees to assist them but on one condition: whack a colleague who could put Howard away for life. 

McGregor’s Ian is too much of a whiner when it comes to the romance but he becomes more confident than Terry and oddly keeps his cool after the deed is done. Farrell gives the more interesting performance of the two, feeling his head spinning and the sweaty apprehension and then the post-murder guilt. Together, their brotherly chemistry feels relaxed, and their British accents maybe too relaxed. Wilkinson, as usual, is amusingly persuasive in his limited screen time. 

Allen’s reworking a lot of the same morality themes he did in “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and “Match Point,” but the writer-director doesn’t get away with murder here. You wish there was more giddyup in the story and pacing, and less bombast in Philip Glass’s musical score, and this time, Allen’s dialogue has more exposition than it does wit. The leading up to the murder is staged like darkly humorous, mischievous Hitchcock and decidedly bloodless, the right touch by Allen’s pan-left, but the film’s abrupt ending is Greek tragedy or just an ironic shaggy-dog joke. 

Said “Match Point” still wasn’t just a fluke, but the “earlier, funnier ones” are looking real good right about now, as “Cassandra’s Dream” is anything but a dream, especially for Woodyphiles.

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_ Woody Allen Bob Hope Tonight Show 1971 Woody Allen Actor Director Writer Date Title (click to view) Studio Lifetime Gross / Theaters Opening / Theaters Rank 7/15/16 Cafe Society LGF $11,103,205 631 $359,289 5 18 7/17/15 Irrational Man SPC $4,030,360 925 $175,312 7 36 7/25/14 Magic in the Moonlight SPC $10,539,326 964 $412,095 17 […]

“WOODY WEDNESDAY” WOODY ALLEN TURNS 81 5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE FILM GENIUS

__ The Woody Allen Special [1969] (Guests: Candice Bergen, Billy Graham and the 5th Dimension) Published on Sep 8, 2016 For all the Woody Allen/television fans, here is the rare 1969 CBS special! Featuring the flawless stand-up of Woody, and skits such as: Woody and Candice having to rehearse nude for an artistic play. A […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Happy Birthday Woody Allen: 15 Quotes By The Maverick Filmmaker

__ Woody Allen The Dean Martin Show Happy Birthday Woody Allen: 15 Quotes By The Maverick Filmmaker News18.com First published: December 1, 2016, 3:30 PM IST | Updated: December 1, 2016 One of the most celebrated filmmakers of Hollywood, Woody Allen turns 81 today. Born and raised in Brooklyn as Allen Konigsberg he is arguably […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Settling into a hotel bar in Soho after a long day shooting a film for Woody Allen in the Bronx, Justin Timberlake wastes no time ordering the first of several Vesper martinis. “I was terrified all day today, dude,”

___________ Justin Timberlake Talks ‘Trolls,’ Family Life and His New Album With Pharrell Williams Andrew Barker Senior Features Writer@barkerrant TOM MUNRO FOR VARIETY NOVEMBER 1, 2016 | 10:00AM PT Settling into a hotel bar in Soho after a long day shooting a film for Woody Allen in the Bronx, Justin Timberlake wastes no time ordering […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen’s 81st Birthday

_ Woody Allen – standup – ’65 – RARE! Happy 81st Birthday, Woody Allen December 2, 2016 1 Comment Woody Allen turns 81 today. And he shows no signs of slowing down. Allen spent his 80th year being remarkably prolific, even by his own standards. The end of 2015 saw that year’s film, Irrational Man, […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Everything We Know About Woody Allen’s 2017 Film With Kate Winslet And Justin Timberlake October 16, 2016

  _ Everything We Know About Woody Allen’s 2017 Film With Kate Winslet And Justin Timberlake October 16, 2016 3 Comments Woody Allen has, it seems, wrapped production on his 2017 Film. The new film stars Kate Winlset and Justin Timberlake. And despite some very public days of shooting, We still don’t know that much […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY At 79, Woody Allen Says There’s Still Time To Do His Best Work JULY 29, 2015 5:03 PM ET

_____________ Woody Allen – The Atheist At 79, Woody Allen Says There’s Still Time To Do His Best Work JULY 29, 2015 5:03 PM ET When asked about his major shortcomings, filmmaker Woody Allen says, “I’m lazy and an imperfectionist.” Thibault Camus/AP Woody Allen is a prolific filmmaker — he’s been releasing films pretty much […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Midnight in Paris: TAP’s Movie of the Month for June 2015 JUNE 1, 2015 by TAP Adventures

Midnight in Paris: TAP’s Movie of the Month for June 2015 JUNE 1, 2015 by TAP Adventures Each month in TAP, we select a Movie of the Month to help prepare our students for their overseas trip. This month we’re starting to prepare for our 2016 adventure in France and the Benelux countries, so we’ve selected […]

“Woody Wednesday” An Interview with Woody Allen Woody Allen’s World: Whatever Works Robert E. Lauder April 15, 2010 – 2:31pm

This interview   below reveals Woody Allen’s nihilistic views and reminds me of his best movie which is  CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS!!!! Crimes and Misdemeanors 1989 Woody Allen Woody Allen Crimes and Misdemeanors Nihilism Nietzsche’s Death of God An Interview with Woody Allen Woody Allen’s World: Whatever Works Robert E. Lauder April 15, 2010 – 2:31pm Woody […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody’s Cold Comforts Robert E. Lauder April 19, 2010

Top 10 Woody Allen Movies   Woody’s Cold Comforts Robert E. LauderApril 19, 2010 – 1:36pm Friends have often asked me about my interest in the films of Woody Allen: Why is a Catholic priest such an ardent admirer of the work of an avowed atheist, an artist who time and again has insisted on […]

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