To Rome with Love

To rome with love - Roman Holiday - ★★★

Roman Holiday – ★★★

Woody Allen returns to acting in his own film after a six year gap. Was it worth the wait? Eh, sort of. To Rome with Love sees a return to more madcap Allen after the linear, if odd, Midnight in Paris.

There are essentially four stories at work here with some small off-shoots. Hayley (Alison Pill) is an American tourist who falls in love with a local while holidaying in Rome. Her father Jerry (Woody Allen) is an ahead of his time/terrible classical producer and will stop at nothing to make Giancarlo (Fabio Armiliato as Hayley’s soon to be father in law) a star once he hears him singing in the shower. Then we have Leopoldo (Roberto Benigni) who suddenly becomes a superstar for no apparent reason. A story about newly weds Milly (Alessandra Mastronardi) and Antonio (Alessandro Tiberi) involving a female escort played by Penelope Cruz. The final story and possibly the most unconventional involves Jack (Jesse Eisenberg), John (Alec Baldwin) and Monica (Ellen Page) where Baldwin plays a moral compass for Eisenberg’s wandering eye.

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Woody Allen: A Documentary

Heavy lies the crown – ★★★½

Robert B. Weide takes us on a pretty pedestrian journey through the works of Woody Allen in this enjoyable but at times unnecessary documentary.

Starting pretty much from the year dot, the film covers extensively how Allen got his break writing jokes for different newspaper columns, got picked up to write jokes for TV and eventually landed himself in the world of cinema. With all the usual interviews from renowned directors, family and friends, the film ambles along at a steady enough pace with few new or illuminating facts about Allen.

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Midnight in Paris

Retour vers le futur - ★★★½

Midnight in Paris is Woody Allen’s love letter to “La Ville Lumiere” in the roaring twenties.

We have Owen Wilson playing Gil a Hollywood screenwriter who is tired of the constant hackneyed scripts and wants to try his hand at that elusive first novel. He and his fiance Inez played by Rachel McAdams are holidaying in Paris with her parents and they soon realise that they both have very different views about what they want from life. Their predicament is further tested when Michael Sheen turns up, an old friend of Inez who is the embodiment of a pedantic know it all. Oh and every night at midnight Gil travels back in time to the twenties where he hangs out with everyone from Ernest Heminway to Salvador Dali. Read More