In the hustle and bustle of 1950s Coney Island, where the buzzing crowd comes and goes trudging slowly over the wooden boardwalks, silent stories of the everyday toilers who give life to the attraction unfold. Somewhere in a clam bar, there's the sad waitress Ginny, a one-time actress and now a suffering wife who's been given a second chance by the side of the well-intentioned but uncouth carousel operator, Humpty. On the other hand, there's Humpty's 26-year-old estranged daughter, Carolina, who left the familial nest and a preordained future seeking adventure as a mobster's wife; only to return home with her wings broken, begging for forgiveness. And from the lifeguard's high tower, where all is in plain sight, the young and charming lifesaver and hopeful playwright, Mickey, is the inadvertent but potent catalyst that binds everything together. Shattered dreams, reckless love and betrayal, all under the bright lights of Coney Island.Written by
Costume designer Suzy Benzinger initially had difficulty in creating a lifeguard outfit for Justin Timerlake's character Mickey since the photos of 1950s Coney Island at her disposal had few clear shots of the lifeguards. She eventually got the information she needed after reaching out to Marty Alvin, a former Coney Island lifeguard who was interviewed by Esquire Magazine in 1949. See more »
The ticket taker saying to Carolina in the beginning " have a good one" was not said in the 50's. See more »
Coney Island, 1950's. The beach, the boardwalk. Once a luminous jewel, but growing relentlessly seedier as the tides roll in and out. Summers I work here on Bay 7. Comes the fall, I'm a student at New York University going for my Master's in European drama. I'm Mickey Rubin. Poetic by nature. I harbor dreams of being a writer. A writer of truly great plays, so I can one day surprise everyone and turn out a profound masterpiece.
[to the camera]
Anyhow. Let me get to the ...
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Is this a masterpiece in the canon of Woody Allen films? No. Is it a solidly entertaining experience that's worth a couple hours of your time and the price of admission? Absolutely. Kate Winslet, Jim Belushi, and Juno Temple all turn in excellent performances. While Justin Timberlake is hampered by some awkward, stilted dialogue, he has some shining moments as well. The plot is engaging and unpredictable, and the setting and soundtrack are stylish and pure Allen. Yes, the story line has some flaws and derivative elements--and I think the film could have benefited from some more aggressive editing--but it is wholly inaccurate to dismiss it as an abysmal piece of garbage, as so many critics seem eager to do. It's clear to me that some critics have allowed their distaste for Allen's personal missteps to color their view of this film, and that's unfair not only to Allen but also to the rest of the cast and crew, not to mention the public.
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