Genre: Romantic comedy drama
Director: Woody Allen
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart and Steve Carell
Duration: 1h 36min
Rating: Really nice
Ladies and gentlemen, Woody Allen is back. After a few flops (Irrational Man, Magic in the Moonlight or To Rome With Love, just to mention a few examples), Woody Allen comes back in full form with a charming romantic drama/comedy, as he has accustomed us to.
The plot this time is about a young New Yorker who moves to Hollywood looking for fame and fortune in the film industry. There she meets a young secretary with whom she falls in love and starts a relationship. From that simple premise the plot unfolds showing the complexities of relationships with all its nuances, dilemmas, sacrifices and joys.
I think the success of the movie rests in that Woody Allen returned to do something more like Midnight in Paris than in the above mentioned flops. The movie is set between the West (Los Angeles) and East (New York) coast in the 1930s. So, what in Midnight in Paris was the European cultural elite of the 20s, in Cafe Society has been replaced by Hollywood in the 30s. The movie in essence has the typical features of a Woody Allen movie: a neurotic lead who is an alter ego of the real Woody Allen, complicated love relationships, existential debates, jazz music and even some cultural snobbism. In this movie, all this elements fit very nicely to create a pleasant film that is very nice to watch.
All this work is supported by an astounding visual display. Every frame in the movie is a delight to watch. There is no coincidence that this is the first collaboration between Woody Allen and Vittorio Storaro (a guy that won an Oscar for best cinematography in Apocalypse Now). Also, there is a need to mention the superb work of the cast. Jesse Eisenberg is great at a playing a character that in essence is a young version of Woody Allen; Steve Carell makes a solid performance at his supporting role; and even Kristen Stewart makes a surprisingly decent job.
Overall, Café Society is a light-hearted movie, which is very lovely to watch but, at the same time, will let you thinking about the inherent fatalism in life. As the main character wisely says “life is a comedy written by a sadistic comedy writer”.