In Woody Allen’s last two films, Magic in the Moonlight and Irrational Man, I sensed a tone of anger. There was a depressed bitterness, filling the words and actions of the standard Allen-esque characters. The consistent storylines involving two lovers intertwined with themes of magic or murder mystery were present, but was in many ways, a retreat from the jovial or romantic films of his past. Cafe Society, the 46th studio film from Allen, is not recapturing his glory days of Annie Hall or Manhattan anytime soon, but it does have the promising nostalgic flare of say, Radio Days, mixed with the gentle sadness of The Purple Rose of Cairo. It is as pleasant as an old jazz song, set between Los Angeles and Allen’s beloved New York, during the old Hollywood studio days, where the woman had the beauty of the next Barbara Stanwyck and the men enjoyed cigars in a smoky lounge. Cafe Society is a sunny, warm, and gentle film, perfect for the young at heart.
ou know the innocent children you see on reality TV shows such as Teen Mom orSister Wives? I often wonder how they feel about being on such invasive television shows. Don’t they have any say? Especially because the environment they’re raised in is rarely calm, and either affects them negatively or positively with the low-grade fame that comes with it. Well, that is how I felt leaving the theater after director Matt Ross’s film Captain Fantastic. A frustrating film, possibly the most infuriating movie of 2016, with an excellent lead performance from Viggo Mortensen and a cuddly, often insincere plot, that sparks the cynical area of your brain, while attempting to say something about families that live off the grid vs. families that live in the suburbs. I would like to see where this family is 20 years from now, but Captain Fantastic was much less than what the title promises.