A director is forced to work with his ex-wife, who left him for the boss of the studio bankrolling his new film. But the night before the first day of shooting, he develops a case of psychosomatic blindness.
Suffering from writer's block and eagerly awaiting his writing award, Harry Block remembers events from his past and scenes from his best-selling books as characters, real and fictional, come back to haunt him.
Lee Simon, unsuccessful journalist and wanna-be novelist, tries to get a foot into the door with celebrities. After divorcing his wife Robin, Lee gets to meet a lot folks of the rich and / or beautiful, partly through journalism, partly because he has a script to offer. But life among those from out-of-this-world is hard, and his putative success always results in defeat. Meanwhile Robin meets a very desirable TV-producer and takes the first steps in the world of celebrities herself. Written by
Julian Reischl <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Better now 2010 than it was in 1998. Branagh does Woody Allen Shtick.
I saw this film in 1998 on the big screen & again Feb 20 2010. Lee Simon, unsuccessful journalist & wanna-be novelist, tries to get a foot into the door with celebrities. After divorcing his wife Robin, Lee gets to meet a lot folks of the rich & / or beautiful, partly through journalism, partly because he has a script to offer. But life among those from out-of-this-world is hard, & his putative success always results in defeat. Meanwhile Robin meets a very desirable TV-producer & takes the first steps in the world of celebrities herself. This film is really a marriage mid-life crisis type movie about luck. Who has luck & who does not have luck (actually they have rotten luck). The film is done in black & white. Kenneth Branagh plays the Woody Allen role. The film has a huge roster of celebrities in big roles & many big parts with this all star cast. If you were a famous somebody actor in 1998 YOU WERE IN THIS MOVIE!! HAHAH. Branagh does a terrific job-he is fantastic in this role. Kenneth Branagh does a wicked Woody Allen imitation, and what's most fun about it is that Allen wrote and directed the picture. Is Allen lampooning himself? Was it Branagh's idea? Who decided how far to take it? And what does this all mean in Allen's ongoing dialogue with his viewers. Branagh gives us the quintessence of Woodyism. This goes a good deal beyond the average nightclub comic's Allen shtick. What Branagh offers is a finesse job of skewering, homing in precisely on his target's speech patterns and mannerisms. I disagree with many in that I do not feel like this is just another Woody Allen movie & he is just doing all the stuff over again. Boy is that wrong. This is his best film since Deconstructing Harry & Husbands & Wives. The film is hilarious but deep--like his best films. It explores our obsession with celebrities & the media's obsession with them. He embarks on a string of neo-Felliniesque encounters with the rogue's gallery of celebrity actors who bring out the best in Allen's barbed dialogue. The movie seems timelier now than in 1998. This movie is one of my favorite Woody films of the '90s, & one of his most underrated. It's also visually beautiful, in black & white with that nice the photography of Manhattan. Cast wise there is great ensemble work here, with both witty & intelligent writing from Allen & amusing set-pieces, & excellent cinematography/photography. Allen's carefully crafted, anti-celebrity image -- the shunning of interviews and so on -- is just as much a celebrity image as anything he makes fun of here. But Allen remains a very potent fantasy figure for critics and moviegoers who want to see him as something like America's resident European filmmaker, untouched by the vagaries and vulgarities of the industry he works in. His familiar, formalized, art-film aesthetic reinforces that perception. It's impressive that, in the age of blockbusters, Allen has managed to keep making movies his way. Here he captures that vapid, empty malaise of celebrity life in a hysterical way. Five stars WAY better today than when I saw it on the big screen in 1998
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