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Showing results for tags 'Kristen Stewart'.
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This is easily Allen's best work since Midnight in Paris, and if you exclude Midnight in Paris, it's his best since Bullets Over Broadway. It's not great, but it's thoroughly enjoyable and engaging, and it's several steps up from recent slogs like To Rome with Love or Magic in the Moonlight, and I think the pacing sparkles and moves along much more smoothly than Blue Jasmine and Vicky Christina Barcelona. Cafe Society is basically a remake of Radio Days set in 1930's Hollywood with a touch more cynicism, although it's pretty mild compared to other Allen films. Basically, the cynicism comes across as an acknowledgment that the world does not function as it should, but Allen is able to find beauty and joy, not just in movies but in other people and relationships as well. Allen again provides the nostalgic voiceover without acting in the film, just like he did in Radio Days. This film ends with a New Year's Eve party too, in which the characters' lives may not have turned out as they hoped, but they still are able to count all their blessings. As a love letter to the early Hollywood years, Cafe Society doesn't quite capture that aura the way Radio Days did for the early days of radio, and it's much more blunt about the imperfections and shortcomings which permeate the world of show business, but there's never any succumbing to despair. It does have a strong streak of dark humor (mostly through Corey Stoll's gangster) which laughs at the darkest human impulses, but the overall tone is one of joy and nostalgia. The plot is little weak and episodic, but the dialogue is some of the sharpest Allen's written in years. The characters bounce lines off one another, and all the actors seem to be enjoying themselves immensely. Jesse Eisenberg is the best Allen stand-in any of his recent films have had, insecure and still goofily likeable, and he manages to avoid becoming too arrogant as he becomes more confident. Eisenberg captures some of Allen's nervous mannerisms so perfectly that I think he must have binge watched a bunch of early Allen films from Sleeper to Love and Death to Annie Hall. Carell is great as the arrogant agent wrapped up in the world of Hollywood. Kristen Stewart shows great range, fluctuating between wide-eyed fangirl and world weary cynic who's above all the glamor of showbiz. And Corey Stoll punctuates the film with the antics of his amoral gangster, providing a small dose of a more morbid humor than Allen often employs. Also, this is another recent Allen film in which an older man cheats on his wife with a much younger woman, and here that man is portrayed as a jerk for doing so, even though the affair works out in the end. It made me think that maybe Allen is feeling some guilt over cheating on Mia.