15 June 2012 8:55 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

With a spasm of east coast neurosis, Woody Allen gets the event underway – and it isn't long before things get raucous

Woody Allen waits anxiously to introduce To Rome with Love at the Regal theatre in downtown La; there are echoes of the young, nervous standup who performed against his will at the start of his career. But this is the opening night of the Los Angeles film festival, as well as the movie's North American premiere, so within nanoseconds of Allen striding up to the mic the crowd are on their feet.

"I was blessed with a great cast. A cast I'm counting on to make me look good," he stutters, endearingly, before introducing Penélope Cruz, Alison Pill, Greta Gerwig, Simona Caparrini and Alessandra Mastronardi. "If you like the picture, I'm thrilled. If you hate it and think it was a waste of time coming, don't let me know »

- Lisa Marks

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