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.
Val Waxman is a film director who was once big in the 1970's and 1980's, but has now has been reduced to directing TV commercials. Finally, he gets an offer to make a big film. But, disaster strikes, when Val goes temporarily blind, due to paranoia. So, he and a few friends, try to cover up his disability, without the studio executives or the producers knowing that he is directing the film blind.Written by
The relationship between the Chinese cinematographer, his translator, and Woody Allen's character is loosely based on the relationship between Allen and cinematographer Zhao Fei, who worked together on Sweet and Lowdown (1999), Small Time Crooks (2000), and The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001). Allen exaggerated the comic aspect of the relationship. See more »
As Al and Chau enter the revolving doors, the reflection of a crew member holding a white reflecting board can be seen in the windows. See more »
I came to hold out an olive branch.
"An olive branch"? What is this, the Israeli parliament?
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Before the film came out, I read some reviews saying that they felt Woody was back in top form, but now I'm reading reviews that say otherwise. I guess many people feel that in the case of a greatly talented filmmaker like Woody, after wooing audiences with his earlier works like "Annie Hall" and "Manhattan," there's nowhere left to go but down. So whenever people bash his films, they don't bash them in the same way they would the next SNL-inspired dud. They bash them even more brutally simply because he's Woody and they can't help but expect more from him.
"Hollywood Ending" is no gem, with moments that obviously drag, but I felt it worked. It's an excellent premise for a farcical comedy, and it played out fluently. My only criticism about the "blind" element of the film dealt with Woody's performance. Each scene where he talks to someone, he purposely turns away from that person. He was obviously trying way too hard to stress the fact that his character's blind (I guess in case the audience somehow forgot halfway through). People who are blind actually have a strong sense of hearing. Like the comic book character of Daredevil, their other four senses are heightened. When they're first faced with the blindness, it's hard to cope, but after a short while they get used to it.
Like most of Woody's films, the cast is an ensemble of multi-talented actors who each contribute more than their own five cents into the work. There was even an funny unbilled cameo by Isaac Mizrahi. A lot of people project snobbery upon Woody's recent work, but I happened to enjoy this movie very much, and the same goes with "Small-Time Crooks" and "Curse of the Jade Scorpion." As long as you don't proceed with gigantic expectations, you should have a lot of fun.
My score: 7 (out of 10)
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