While Woody Allen is caught in the breakup of the Weinstein affair, released his new film, “Wonder Wheel”, which will not remain as one of his best opus. Yet he has a five-star cast in front of the camera: Kate Winslet, James Belushi, Justin Timberlake and Juno Temple, in a beautiful recreation of the Coney Island of the 50s, but a little vain.
The film opens with the return of Carolina (Juno Temple) to a father Humpy (James Belushi) who denied her because she was married to a gangster. The young woman having denounced him to the police, a contract weighs on his head. Humpy is married to Ginny (Kate Winslet), wife by spite, who will deceive him with Mickey (Justin Timberlake), soon in love with Carolina. We do not know which end to take “Wonder Wheel”. Adulterine drama, sentimental film on the background of gangsterism, nostalgic evocation of the end of an era. This hodgepodge gets tangled with no real continuity.
This new Woody Allen, shot largely outdoors in Coney Island, in the open air, and reconstructing its huge permanent fair, paradoxically evokes a filmed theater. The film is full of dialogues, while Mickey keeps intervening to tell the story. The theater is also a major theme of the film. Ginny is a failed comedian, nostalgic of a career that has been broken, and Mickey dreams of becoming a great playwright.
The end of innocence
We know Woody talkative in his films, but there, despite the talent of the performers, lacks a dynamic. Dominates the impression of being out of place. To turn in circles. The dramatic content is low, while the passional background fed the subject. The New Yorker is usually a master of dramaturgy, Allen is a great storyteller. It is undoubtedly in writing that the weakness of the film lies.