Café Society

Café Society

(2016)

Woody Allen romantic comedy starring Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Steve Carell and Blake Lively. Follows a young man who arrives in Hollywood during the 1930s hoping to work in the film industry - but finds himself swept up in the romance of the café society that defined the spirit of the age.

On Demand, DVD & Blu-Ray

Available from 2 providers

Flicks Review

Even though he re-establishes himself every few years with a triumph like Blue Jasmine, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, or Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen remains a cultural pariah.There is a sharp delineation between people who might enjoy his films and people who probably won't. Even among the former group, which I consider myself a part of, this latest work is something of a crap shoot.... More

I found plenty to enjoy here, but elements that can sometimes stop Allen's films dead in their tracks are also present – the most notable being an unflailing, almost depressing sense of cynicism.

The film is practically bifurcated – the first half takes place in sunny period Hollywood, where Steve Carell (who replaced Bruce Willis after shooting started) puts in blustery work as a non-stop name-dropper.

The second half of the film, set in New York, is quite different. At this point in his career, the concept of Jesse Eisenberg as the suave manager of the swinging-est night club in swing New York is as crazy as it ever could be, yet the actor pulls it off, and the scenes of him playing host are some of the most purely fun of the movie. Also, the increasingly ubiquitious Corey Stoll (TV's House of Cards, Ant-Man) is great as Eisenberg's gangster brother.

Allen appears to relish the staging of an extinct form of New York nightlife, resulting in more aesthetic pleasures than one usually finds in his works.

The audience for this film already knows who it is. It won't convert anyone not already committed to the cause, but it will provide occasional delights for those susceptible to Woody Allen's charms.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 5 ratings, 3 reviews
Reviewed & Rated by
Your rating & review
Rate / Review this movie

BY KennethP91 superstar

Cafe Society is the latest movie by Woody Allen, it stars Jessie Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Steve Carell and Blake Lively.

Set in the 1930s’ Cafe Society follows Jessie Eisenberg as Bobby. A young man from New York who’s hoping to find success in Hollywood as well as success in finding love.

This year is not all bad for Jessie Eisenberg as he manages to bring out a decent performance in Woody Allen’s Cafe Society. Though similar to other Woody Allen movies, his lead is filled with his... More mannerisms and Jessie Eisenberg nails them perfectly. There’s a subtle charm behind him and he’s decent to watch through out the movie. Other actors such as Steve Carell and Corey Stoll are great, they bring a fun dynamic to the film and to their credit, their presence is felt through out.

Another great aspect of this movie is its looks. This movie is beautiful to look at, the use of pastel colours compliments the film extremely well. The costume design is amazing and it does look and feel like the 1930s. As usual the music is great, Woody Allen knows how to pick his Jazz and they’re lovely to listen to.

Unfortunately for this movie not all is good as it the story loses direction in the second half of the film. With what felt like random events compiled into a scene after another, it loses all momentum and frankly it might have a hard time retaining the audience’s attention.

Another complaint is Blake Lively, usually Blake Lively is great in any movie, however there is not enough of her in this film almost resulting her role into a cameo appearance which is quite disappointing.

Overall Cafe Society is still a movie worth checking out, if you’re fan of Woody Allen, despite it’s flaws, this movie will still please you. The comedic timing is great though the romantic aspect didn’t hit as much. To her credit Kristen Stewart is decent, however nothing about her stood out.

With great overall looks, music and soundtrack and the and decent to strong performances, Cafe Society is still worth checking outHide


BY cinemusefilm superstar

You would not be entirely mistaken in thinking that Woody Allen has only made one film to which he has progressively added a variety of chapters on his way to becoming an 80 year-old filmmaker. So distinct is his style of humour that we all know what is meant by ‘a Woody Allen comedy’, a sub-genre characterised by the angst-ridden self-deprecation that the master of incongruity brings to his work. Cafe Society (2016) has all the hallmarks of Allen's signature style plus a feast of visual... More pleasures that signal a career in full bloom.

As with many Allen films, the plotline is less important than the time and place, the characters and their emotions. Set in the 1930s, the story follows young Bobby (Jesse Eisenberg) who leaves his father's New York jewellery business for the promises and bright lights of Los Angeles. He lands a job with uncle Phil (Steve Carell) who runs a top-tier talent agency then falls in love with the boss's secretary Veronica (Kristen Stewart). But things turn messy when his love life becomes a love triangle and he is the odd man out. Bobby returns to New York and finds success in running a nightclub for the rich and famous but the triangle remains a spectre of happiness, so near yet out of reach.

The simplicity of this understated plot belies the craftsmanship that is obvious in the film. The period sets, costumes, and 1930s stylisation of both the high-life and the ordinary are sumptuously beautiful, with many scenes reminiscent of the colour palettes and opulent settings in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby (2013). The vibrant sound of the Jazz Age punctuates the narrative to lift its stories of love, greed, ambition and good old-fashion gangster high-jinx. In this heady mix, wealth and cultural power exist incongruously with the shallowness of the Hollywood dream factory, and all is mocked through the quirky lens of Woody Allen humour.

Jesse Eisenberg does Allen almost better than Allen. His down-beat facial expressions and body language evoke self-mocking humour, pathos and yearning to belong. Kristen Stewart matches him for emotional range and nuance, and lights up the screen whenever the camera dwells on her face. Their synergy spans the high idealism of youth to the low pragmatics of life in show-business, and throughout it all Eisenberg conveys the introspection that Allen perfected through a dialogue-rich script that is fast, clever and funny. This is an engaging and enjoyable film to inhale, one that roller-coasts from innocence to the melancholy of lost opportunity and bemused wonder over what life really means…just like all Woody Allen films.Hide


BY DanielK superstar

Aside from the basic premise (“if you pretend to be someone you’re not, you’ll eventually end up living the wrong life”), Café Society doesn’t have a heck of a lot on its mind. But it’s well-acted, provides regular chuckles throughout and, unlike many Woody Allen joints, looks positively sumptuous. Part-way through I found myself yearning for impossible cameos from the likes of Errol Flynn and Ginger Rogers, which is testament to how transporting I found it. Sure, it won’t change... More your world, but if you have any weakness at all for thirties Hollywood or Jazz Age New York, Café Society provides a momentary but lovingly crafted escape avenue – in lieu of an actual time machine, I’ll take it.Hide


Showing 3 of 3 reviews. See all reviews

The Press Reviews

70% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Notable for a superb Kristen Stewart performance, this entertaining lament to old Hollywood and lost love sits between major and minor Woody. Full Review

  • ...predictable and intermittently maudlin... Full Review

  • A small fiction of amiable appeal and vibrancy which goes down as easily as a fizzy cocktail. Full Review

  • In the best sense, "Cafe Society" presents itself as an older director's film, dealing as it does with the difference between dreams and reality and the presence and persistence of regret. Full Review

  • Woody Allen has made 46 films, of which I've seen 46, and I'm not sure which of us is more tired of them. Full Review

  • Mr. Allen's literal voice, which supplies narration, sounds unusually sluggish and weary. The same is true of his voice as a writer and director. For every snappy scene or exchange there are three or four that feel baggy and half-written. Full Review

  • The movie, watchable as it is, never quite overcomes the sense that it's a lavish diagram working hard to come off as a real movie. Full Review

The Talk
82 %

Want to see it

What say you?