Benjamin Maio Mackay
Café Society - 5 Stars
Simply beautiful, Woody Allen’s follow up to Irrational Man is sublime.
In the past 10 years Steve Carell has managed to re-brand like no other actor in Hollywood. He rose to fame as a correspondent on Jon Stewart’s the Daily Show and has since had multiple Oscar nominations and has continue to play more serious roles. Carell once again proves that he can act circles around the best of them. This may be his best performance since Little Miss Sunshine. He can always balance comedy and drama and his romantic side is rarely seen on film - so make the most of this well-rounded performance. Kristen Stewart has the butt of jokes for years post Twilight, but between this, On the Road and Clouds of Sils Maria she continues to prove that under the right circumstances she is amazing. I can easily see an Oscar nomination for her performance. Jesse Eisenberg has been typecast and is great in his role, but this is so similar to his past characters. Blake Lively, Ken Stott, Corey Stoll, Anna Camp, Don Stark, Parker Posey and Paul Schneider round out the huge ensemble cast.
The writing is, as always with Allen dramatic, emotional and funny - simultaneously. He knows how to craft characters and his direction is perfect to bring his work to life. The Jazz score is similar to many of his other films and while he uses narration in 90% of is work it still feels fresh in this circumstance. The ending is also surprising, I won’t spoil it, but it certainly isn’t a cliched rom-com ending.
Overall one of my favourite films of the year.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of eOne Entertainment