Café Society

I worked on my income tax return and got through Schedule B.  I returned home and watched “Café Society.”  It had elements in “Manhattan,” “Bullets Over Broadway,” and “Radio Days,” as I saw it, and it wasn’t one of the brilliant Woody Allen films, but it did have its worthy moments.  Jesse Eisenberg had the nervous Woody Allen part, and he talked about his preference for life in New York over the Los Angeles lifestyle as if this was “Annie Hall.”  Kristen Stewart had more life in her face than she showed in the recent “Personal Shopper.”  She and Jesse toured the movie stars’ houses in a way that reminded me of the architecture tour in “Hannah and Her Sisters.”  She mentioned the houses of Spencer Tracy and Joan Crawford.  I did not like all the narration from Woody Allen.  It seemed too much.  One notable person who worked on the movie was cinematographer Vittorio Storaro.  I didn’t think that Steve Carell was right for his part.  The scene in which Bobby learns the identity of his uncle’s mistress was effective, and I liked the part of the story with the obnoxious neighbor.  I felt that the movie should have focused solely on the Eisenberg and Stewart characters.  The reference to Barbara Stanwyck’s “The Woman in Red” would indicate that the story takes place in 1935.  The movie looked pretty good in high definition on my television screen.  I wished that Woody Allen would do something completely different and surprise us the way he made “Interiors” years ago.  I would say that “Café Society” was better than “Anything Else” and much better than “Hollywood Ending,” which was perhaps his weakest film.  At his age, I wonder whether he’s capable of making great films.  He’s doing better than my parents, who are around the same age.  I saw this movie last year at the theatre.  Seeing it a second time, I think I notice more of its good qualities.  Some of the people who died on April 11 include John O’Hara (1970), June Pointer (2006), Roscoe Lee Browne (2007), Kurt Vonnegut (2007), Jonathan Winters (2013), and Jesse Winchester (2014).  Today is a birthday for Jeremy Clarkson (56).

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