A comedic biopic focused on the life of fictional jazz guitarist Emmett Ray. Ray was an irresponsible, free-spending, arrogant, obnoxious, alcohol-abusing, miserable human being, who was also arguably the best guitarist in the world. We follow Ray's life: bouts of getting drunk, his bizzare hobbies of shooting rats and watching passing trains, his dreams of fame and fortune, his strange obsession with the better-known guitarist Django Reinhardt, and of course, playing his beautiful music. Written by
Martin Lewison <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Woody Allen pays a clever homage to Federico Fellini's La Strada (1954). The characters of Emmet (Penn) and Hattie (Morton) correspond to Zampano (Quinn) and Gelsomina (Masina) including the final scene with Emmet's/Zampano's breakdown and repentance. See more »
In my opinion, there is more than one type of Woody Allen film. There is the antic lunacy of films like Bananas and Sleeper, the serio-comic "serious" film with "meaning", like Annie Hall, Husbands and Wives and Deconstructing Harry and then there are what I think are Woody Allen's "love notes", if you'll bear with the expression, films like The Purple Rose of Cairo, Bullets Over Broadway and Sweet and Lowdown, films as a general rule that are period pieces (generally the '30's or thereabouts) that are basically mash notes from Allen to something Allen particularly cares about, such as jazz in Sweet and Lowdown (specifically jazz guitar and Django Reinhardt). The score is great, which is typical for a Woody Allen film. Allen does these little films vey well and they are almost always worth watching. Sean Penn plays a self-centered, egotistical creep with talent. I will leave any further interpretations regarding the preceding statement to the Gentle Reader. Why he was nominated for an Oscar escapes me. Samantha Morton, on the other hand, gives a sweet, if almost one-note, performance, which basically sums up the movie: worth the time and effort to watch, but a one-note film. If you like this side of Woody (and I do), this is worth seeing.
40 of 48 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?