Café Society

Gravier Productions, Perdido Productions. Directed and written by Woody Allen.

Off at the unusual hour of 11 am to the local “Art House” cinema where about thirty to forty brave souls were gathered to watch Woody Allen’s latest.

And what a treat to the eye it was. From the first scene – a Hollywood party – we were drenched in Art Deco and the thirties. Lovely sets and costumes.

Booby Dorfman moves from New York to find work. After first being given the run around by his uncle Phil, a powerful agent, he is eventually given a dogsbody role. Phil asks his secretary Vonnie to show Bobby the town and of course Bobby falls for her. Vonnie is though, embroiled in a clandestine affair with Phil. Meanwhile back in New York Bobby’s brother Ben has forged a career as a gangster.

The working out of the relationships eventually leads to Bobby returning to New York to run a (legitimate) nightclub for Ben, where a few years later the past in the form of Vonnie and Phil intrudes to complicate things.

This is no Blue Jasmine but was a worthwhile experience all the same. A few Allen style jokes are thrown in though I was slightly disturbed by the ethics of playing gangland murders for laughs.

Once again from the opening titles this could not be mistaken for anything other than a Woody Allen film, the font of the titles, the (wonderful) jazz soundtrack, the worldview. It was none the worse for that.

It was unusual to see Ken Stott (playing Bobby’s dad) as a Jewish New Yorker but all the performances were excellent.

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