U.S., 2016, 96 min, 2K DCP, Dir. Woody Allen, Rated PG-13, Lionsgate
"Café Society benefits from an exceptionally adept cast and a luminous glow that emphasizes both the old Hollywood nostalgia and the story's basis in dreams and artifice. It goes down as easily as a fizzy cocktail." – Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter
Set in the 1930s, Woody Allen's bittersweet romance Café Society follows Bronx-born Bobby Dorfman (Jesse Eisenberg) as he flees his father's Bronx jewelry store for Hollywood, where he works for his high-powered agent uncle (Steve Carell) and falls for Phil's charming assistant Vonnie (Kristen Stewart). When Vonnie's boyfriend breaks up with her, Bobby seizes the opportunity to romance her, and she ultimately returns his affections. When he asks her to marry him and move to New York, she is tempted, but things do not go as planned. Eisenberg has no trouble supplying the requisite neurotic quotient as the nominal Allen stand-in and Stewart is good enough to make you wish for another version of The Great Gatsby just so she could play Daisy. Carell layers his Hollywood big shot in ways that pay off rewardingly. The posh Hollywood scenes are wittily costumed by the resourceful Suzy Benzinger. Santo Loquasto's production design takes you back to the town's high-glamour days, while the cinematography - Vittorio Storaro's first work in the U.S. and on a mainstream feature in more than a decade - bathes everything in exquisite amber light. Poignant, and often hilarious, Café Society is a film with a novel's sweep. Woody Allen conjures up a 1930s world that has passed to tell a deeply romantic tale of dreams that never die.
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