Talking about ‘Manhattan’, ‘Celebrity’ is shot in black and white also, giving it a certain, classical edge. I guess this is against shooting it as colourful and flashy akin to a McDonalds Happy Meal … which, would probably be more appropriate. Does he deem celebrity culture to be a good thing? Eric Lax in ‘Conversations with Woody Allen’ gives the impression that Woody hates the celebrity culture, only going on the press junkets if he has to as part of a contract – but if he can shy away from them, he would. I cannot help but feel that Allen likes to create this beautiful look to a film – he knows how to do it well (so, a safe bet) and he has the supporting staff to make it happen. Namely Sven Nykvist – the cinematographer of many Woody Allen films, and more importantly, of Ingmar Bergman’s films. This is not ‘Cries and Whispers’. This is not ‘The Seventh Seal’. This is a Woody Allen [comedy] movie about a mid-life crisis. The balance is incorrect and doesn’t suit the tone of the script itself. To add to this, you have the – I don’t want to say it, but I will – pretentious music. I love the music, but again, it is hardly representative of the world he is trying to portray. Maybe this is another [unnecessary] classical edge to the film.
The cast on the other hand is second-to-none. I’ve harped on about Branagh enough, Judy Davis is brilliant – combining an element of distrust and lack-of-confidence just right to play off Joe Mantegna’s ‘Tony’, who is basically the perfect man: Italian, funny, unmarried, rich, intelligent, loving family – the lot. The tension is whether poor Robin will keep this guy, who she knows all too well, she doesn’t want to lose. Then there are the small cameos, but incredibly important, parts*. Specifically Leonardo DiCaprio in his first performance post-Titanic.
You have to wait a little for my ‘Titanic-is-a-fu*king-good-movie’ review, but nevertheless, he is flawless. While happy in a relationship, Lee attempts to sell his screenplay to successful film star Brandon Darrow (DiCaprio) while Darrow is having the time of his life at the peak of his success. He beats his girlfriend, he gets arrested, he travels to Atlantic City, he gambles, he takes drugs and he has orgies … and this is within the space of about 10 minutes and, most importantly, at no point do you feel that anything is false, he simply plays the role to a T. It is perfect. It is aspects like this that makes the film so good and, although it is unnecessary, it does look stunning and maybe, just maybe, I have got to stop assuming what should be done and accept what has been done. It looks good, it sounds good, they act well and the script is good … its just not great and, I’m sure, it could be.
*It is also interesting to mention, on a side note, that you get a little flavour of the TV stars just about to break out in the successful TV programmes of the future. Stars from The Sopranos (Paulie Walnuts and Janice Soprano), The West Wing (CJ), The Wire (Avon Barksdale) and even Hank Azaria makes an appearance (aka half the cast of The Simpsons)
Having lived in Barcelona for the last year, your one comment about Rebecca Hall in Vicky Christina Barcelona has just proven you missed the whole concept of the movie.
The storyline behind it is nothing to with the guitar or the ability of the player. The whole storyline is based around people’s experiences and emotions while being in Barcelona and living there.
Anyone who has lived there will tell how true the movie is…
I LOVED “Vicky Christina Barcelona” first off! My point was simply that I often find certain facets of Woody Allens movies a little improbable. I also went to Barcelona in the Easter break recently and loved the city – and I shall try and take you up on your advice in living there … one day … then I will understand fully this concept you speak of!
Maybe a better example would be … was trying to say something about “Match Point”, but thats incredible and so I can’t find something wrong with that … erm … maybe just how irresistable to women Woody Allen often seems to be. His character are always, like Branagh, pedantic, frustrating and, very often, selfish … how how how??
Thanks for your comment though!
Having not watched this mopvie I coudln't dissagree or agree with both or you more. wait, yes, that's funny.
I remember being a little bit bored by 'Celebrity.' I think I need to give it another go.
It is good, but can appear a little pretentious at times (black and white? called 'celebrity? I would think overkill on cheap colour would be more appropriate…)