Rifkin's Festival (2020) Poster

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10/10
Keep Going Mr. Allen
martinvives6 October 2020
I just read an article suggesting Woody Allen should retire because he no longer makes good movies and so on. I am not a film critic, but as a film fan that has been enjoying his films at least once a year for quite some time, I beg to differ.

It would have been easy for him to make a film every 7 years give or take like many do and discard everything in between. In my opinion the way he has done things is braver and his fans are thankful for that.

Yes, perhaps he is an ageing "star" but for people who have grown used to his humor and literary and cinematic references, watching his films is still more enjoyable than the random Hollywood offering.

Perhaps this film is not one of his strongest ones, but these times are surely trying, and perhaps, even more for him. Even then, once a year, I still count on him.
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10/10
A homage to cinema and existentialism / Nobody makes films like Woody any more
antoniatejedabarros2 October 2020
Rifkin's Festival is a masterpiece! A homage to cinema and existentialism. So so so beautiful! And meaningful! (even if Woody wouldn't agree). Nobody makes movies like Woody any more.

This movie really touched my heart: it moved me, it made me laugh and it made me think about life, love, and death. I got my dosis of philosophy and art for a year!

Rifkin's Festival is a real gem. One of Woody's best films! Poetic, philosophical, magical, funny, sad, delightful, entertaining, and magnificent. A marvellous script, a spectacular cast, exquisite cinematography, and wonderful music. Delicious and indispensable!

The movie is so incredibly good and it says so much that I really hope it is not Woody's last film. Bravo, Woody! Thank you so much for your art! Please, keep creating!
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10/10
Woody deliveres again
adi_pasa19 September 2020
Beautiful movie, witty, funny. A very enchanting experience. Woody is the master. A true living legend.
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10/10
Wonderful movie! The best movie of 2020!
yaelstreetttejeda4 October 2020
I just saw Rifkin's Festival today and I loved it!!! Everything about this movie is great: the cast (Wally Shawn, Gina Gershon, Louis Garrel, Elena Anaya, Sergi López, Christoph Waltz, Steve Guttenberg, and Richard Kind), the story, the cinematography (by Vittorio Storaro), the music, and, of course, the writing and direction by the great Woody Allen! It's a pity that the film is too short. I would love to watch Rifkin's Festival again anytime!!! Thank you, Woody! You're the best!
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10/10
Superb movie / Woody succeeds once again
itaystreetttejeda4 October 2020
Rifkin's Festival is a great movie. Funny, amazing, enjoyable and poetic. There is a great cast and very good cinematography. One of the best movies I have ever seen. Woody Allen is a genius, and he will always be. All of his movies are great. If you have a chance to watch this film, go to the cinema in a flash. Rifkin's Festival is a masterpiece. I'm so lucky I could watch this movie in Spain, before everybody. It's brilliant. Bravo Woody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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7/10
A tribute to cinema, existentialism and Woody Allen's career
pereira-phillip12 April 2021
A tribute to cinema, existentialism and Woody Allen's career.

Great story, great lines, great directing but I think casting wasn't good enough. We all know that after the allegations against Woody Allen (and I have no doubt of his innocence) casting would be a little hard to do.

Wallace Shaun isn't cogent being a couple with Gina Gershon, but he's delivered a good interpretation.

At the end, is a clear tribute to Bergman, with some points of Godard, Truffaut and Woody Allen's career.
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7/10
Classic Woody Allen.
hourcadette10 April 2021
Entertaining with the beautiful city of San Sebastián as a backdrop.
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10/10
One of my favorite Woody Allen movies
dalitstreetttejeda4 October 2020
I love this movie (actually it's one of my favorite Woody Allen movies). I saw Wally Shawn in San Sebastián! My favorite part of the movie is the one of the ear plugs. It's so funny!

These are my favorite Woody Allen movies: Small Time Crooks (I call it "crunchy cookies"), Don't Drink The Water, Irrational Man (I love the movie but I don't like the end), Bullets Over Broadway (especially the character of "Don't speak, don't speak"), Manhattan Murder Mystery, Scoop, Sleeper, Hollywood Ending, A Rainy Day in New York, Magic in the Moonlight, and now Rifkin's Festival.
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7/10
Better ending than beginning
Castorian8 March 2021
Even if it's the same Woody Allen's topics of all these years, It's better than I thought. Has some dull parts in the middle, but its pace improves towards the end, specially with the acting of the lady playing doctor Jo Rojas and the crazy Sergi Lopez cameo. Rifkin's character gains some depth, too, as the movie approaches to the end. And the scene with Waltz is absolutely hilarious, maybe the only good jokes of all the movie.

Loved the black & white, as well, but I keep wondering if Allen will surprise his public again with a final masterpiece. We can always hope.
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And February Is a Short Month
drednm6 February 2021
Possibly more clever than outrightly funny, Woody Allen's charming RIFKIN'S FESTIVAL stars Wallace Shawn as a geeky film studies teacher who's attending the San Sebastian Film Festival with his wife (Gina Gershon), who's a publicist. As in his STARDUST MEMORIES, Allen shows he has little interest in box office, press conferences, fake glitz, and the self-anointed.

While Shawn trudges around the festival which promotes, in his opinion, garbage, he re-casts the situations in which he finds himself in scenes from his favorite films (but with the actors in this film). So we see these 4:3 B&W inserts of films by Truffaut, Bergman, Bunuel, Godard, Fellini, and a funny CITIZEN KANE bit.

Oy vey! Not as star studded as in days of yore, but some familiar faces show up, including Christoph Waltz as Death, Steve Guttenberg and Tammy Blanchard as Rifkin's brother and his wife, Richard Kind as Rifkin's father. We also get Elena Anaya as the doctor, Louis Garrel as the "star," and Douglas McGrath as Gil.

And Wallace Shawn does well as Woody's alter-ego, but he can't deliver a line or a joke with Woody's aplomb.
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7/10
Wonderful scenery
wlhird-1075824 October 2021
Woody Allen revisits many themes viewers have seen before in his earlier films, and spoofs of scenes from famous European filmmakers. The 2 female leads are very good and the scenery is gorgeous.
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9/10
Perfect movie
Behnam-sh205031 July 2021
The movie is very good. It may seem humorous, but it is deeply conceptual.
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Another great Woody Allen movie 10/10
bruce-1291 April 2021
I am wanting like crazy to see this movie. I keep looking for it and I keep reading about it, and seeing video previews of it, but nothing is out yet. Why isn't Amazon showing it?

What I do see is that most reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes and elsewhere are prejudicially rating this very low, and clearly the reason is peer pressure. Since the absurd "hatchet job" documentary as Woody calls it "Allen V. Farrow" was released with HBO's name on it people are afraid to say anything good about Woody or his movies, and certainly will not release them without some kind of fight. This is a whole national witch hunt - but directed at one very famous and prominent American genius of a filmmaker. It is just not right.

This is so unfair and prejudicial that I feel totally correct and justified to give "Rifkin's Festival" a 10/10 stars to attempt to do my tiny part to rebalance the ratings just a little bit. I believe Woody.

The idea that Woody after 2 investigations and another to determined if he and SoonYi were fit to adopt children would have molested Dylan Farrow while an entire household of people were told to keep an eye on him,for 10 minutes in an attic, that is so small that even if a train set was up there even a little kid could not even fit up there - it's ridiculous. 30 years later he is still being dogged but these absurd accusations. Even Mia Farrow did not hold Roman Polanky guilty for drugging and raping a 13 year old girl ... so, this is all about Mia and her festering hate and vengeance.

So, as soon as I see this movie, if I need to I will return and adjust the rating should need be, but Woody's movies are so great I doubt the occasion will arise.
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8/10
Another treat from Woody Allen!
anzafeir14 November 2021
I expected no less than good fun and this film didn't let me down!

Woody Allen's typical themes are here along with a fascinating tribute to legendary films which defined cinematography.

I couldn't ask for more from this film: wonderful shots, lovely sights, great acting and fun lines all over! So yes, that's another treat from the amazing Woody Allen!
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Solid enough
Darksidecrew3 December 2020
Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride) is a veteran of several prior Woody Allen films takes the lead role here as a man accompanying his wife (Gina Gershon) on a business trip to a film festival in Italy. I like Shawn in his smaller roles but he doesn't feel the right fit to carry this movie. Despite that there is plenty to enjoy from the dialogue, scenery and dream sequences that reference the classics of yesteryear.
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5/10
Good but not too good
gianmarcoronconi30 August 2021
Full of quotes from old movies and this one is very cool, but beyond that the movie has no bite. Really really flat film that deals with the theme of love in a banal and obvious way without any twist or thing that makes it interesting. Moreover, we feel the tremendous lack of the character of Woody Allen who would have given more color to the film. But in the end it remains a good movie.
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10/10
A question of lifetime
uzeynedim0915 November 2021
This is not a movie. This is a visual philosophical art. Mr. Allen perhaps one of the best philosopher of our time. It's not he invented something, but his perspective is so clean which in fact everyone's familiar with. What is the purpose of life? In his 20's men want to be rich. In 30's men want a lovely lady and reasonable job. In 50's we question the meaning of life. We have money, a wife, kids, house, car. Is this all about? Are we happy? Something missing. Another woman, a different job that we really love, going to churches/ mosques? Great conversations, great acting, great everything. You feel like you have all the similar conversations. Thank God, Mr. Allen is still producing.
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6/10
Enjoyably unsurprising.
Victor_Fallon19 September 2021
Romantic city. Gyspsy jazz. Film talk. Infidelity. The usual. It's well written, well acted and well-trodden. But not bad! The various 'homages' to classic filmmakers shows Woody can still have fun with his ideas. The cinematography by Vittorio Storaro is a massive improvement from the last Woody project ("Rainy Day in NY") which was dreadful to look at. It seems the production went smoother this time around.

There are many fleeting characters that deliver quality lines throughout the vignettes. Some of their stories would have been worth pursuing. Carmen Salta appears on screen for 10 seconds, but I wish the film was about her.

I agree with other critics that Wallace Shawn (a fine character actor) is miscast in the lead. His pairing with Gina Gershon doesn't work on any level. Neither perfomer can overcome the romantic chasm between them. At no point did I believe they were ever lovers, let alone married.

Gershon acts well, but Shawn delivers his lines glacially, often in an ironic tone which doesn't gel with the rest of the cast. For some reason he has cheap, ill-fitting clothes in every scene. I'm sure he's capable of playing a confident writer, or even an esoteric lady's man, but Woody directs him as a daydreaming loser who can barely dress himself.

Overall, it is an episodic, trivial romance, lacking the spark of better works like "Vicky Cristina Barcelona". But, it's gently amusing and still worth a watch.
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7/10
Woody does it again, and again and again...
ayoreinf4 September 2021
The intellectual loser, who's an expert in cinema, who's marriage is falling apart forced into a personal soul searching, while parodying cinema, the cinematic industry, the western culture and so on. Woody himself has done it so many times no wonder he's an expert on the subject.

Yes, one still chuckles at the right times because the dream parodies are spot on. Because Wallace Shawn is perfect as an incarnation of Woody's old comic persona and as a rule - Woody is a professional. But I used to really love his genius, his brilliance, his complex philosophical meandering that had an ironic smile accompanying them. These are gone now all that is left is a tired professional who does one film a year because that's his way of making a living (that's what Woody himself said). I'm sorry, when I see one of Woody's movies - I want more, and I couldn't find it here.
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6/10
No, just no
chattenoire-18 December 2020
Wallace Shawn as a romantic protagonist is utterly implausible. Too old by (very) far, unattractive mentally and physically.

Gina Gershon paired with Louis Garrel is only slightly less implausible.
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2/10
this movie is a crime
Iwould10 May 2021
No, just no. Please, Woody, stop here. It's ok, you have done more than much in your life, you are one of the most important icons in movie history. I grew up worshipping you. You should now take a well deserved rest, or retirement, call it how you prefer, just please stop making sloppy movies. I know that you believe that all your movies are sloppy, so you might think "Who cares? One more bad thing won't make any difference". It does. Your 27th work was Deconstructing Harry, a masterpiece, like many others before: but after that we have seen 22 useless exercises, steadily decreasing in quality over the years, and now with this thing you really have started to dig in the dirt. If this movie was delivered as final work for a cinema class, the student would be rejected. The dialogues are flat, not funny. The screenplay is a repetition of previous subjects (were you so unhappy with Stardust Memories? I thought you liked it! Why did you make this tired and sad reboot?). The casting is so wrong that you could improve it just by randomly switching the roles among the actors, with the lone exception of Cristoph Waltz who was great, for the two minutes he was on screen, so I will award a star for every minute of him doing Death, but this is it.
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5/10
Just another piece of road
chinmoy326420 March 2021
Well, to be frank and honest about Woody Allen, his works are never to be expected of delivering a destination, more like a journey on a piece of a road from nowhere in particular to nowhere in particular , just the story telling of the journey. Its not bad though , sometimes its quite joyful.
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2/10
Love Woody, but not this movie.
chuckster-17 September 2021
I'm a lifetime Woody fan, and I went into "Rifkin's Festival" with a lot of goodwill, but it felt really stodgy and dated. The actors do a uniformly great job, and it looks great courtesy of the legendary cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, but I felt like this was the kind of thing Woody could write in his sleep, because it was the same dialogue (especially tinny-sounding this time) and themes we already know from fifty of his other movies, and in a kind of uninspired way. I also cringed a little when Wallace Shawn kept hitting on the pretty doctor, Elena Anaya, even after she initially turned him down. We're definitely lucky that we still have this masterful filmmaker delivering a film once a year, but I wish this one had been much better.
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5/10
"Despite all my talk about existential freedom and Dionysius...I'm a middle-class Jew from the Bronx."
moonspinner5530 November 2021
The latest comedy from writer-director Woody Allen is an odd one from the get-go: Wallace Shawn stands in for the leading man (in what would normally be the typical Allen role) of an essay writer/film history teacher/would-be novelist who must accompany his press agent wife to Spain for the San Sebastian Festival. There, she becomes smitten with a "pretentious film director" from France while disparaging her husband's neuroses, while he harbors chest pains and harks back to his past disappointments by dreaming himself into various scenarios which emulate Welles, Fellini, Truffaut, et al. Despite his age (he was 75 or 76 when this film was shot), Shawn is more than capable at carrying a comedy--his instantly identifiable voice is a pleasure to listen to. However, this type of comedy--one centering on the relationship of a married couple (one wherein the husband is busy pondering the Meaning of Life and the wife is played by glamorous Gina Gershon)--is not a proper fit for Shawn. The actor's ultra-casual clothes and balding head are probably meant to be endearing, but when his character expresses the same old Woody Allen hang-ups (such as the eternal "Why are we here?"), one can't help questioning this man's agenda...has he been asking "Why are we here?" all this time? The lack of really sharp one-liners makes itself felt, but the supporting cast is fine, the production is handsome, and Allen keeps a smooth, jaunty pace. ** from ****
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7/10
Wallace reciting Woody's genius...
tccandler28 November 2021
It isn't a great film, but I enjoyed spending time watching Wallace Shawn reciting Woody Allen's genius words about the meaning of life, the pretentiousness of art and the adrenaline of new love. Allen rarely disappoints... and this late-life crisis hits most of the classic notes.
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