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movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Celebrity

Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Leonardo DiCaprio
Director: Woody Allen
Rated: R
RunTime: 113 Minutes
Release Date: November 1998
Genre: Comedy

Review by MrBrown
2 stars out of 4

This fall's entry into the Woody Allen filmography is this scattershot episodic black-and-white comedy, more or less following the opposing life trajectories of a divorced New York couple: downwardly mobile philandering celebrity journalist/aspiring screenwriter Lee Simon (Kenneth Branagh) and his fast-rising ex, Robin (Judy Davis). In theory, the point of the entire film is to provide insight into the nature of fame and fortune, mostly through Lee's encounters with luminaries such as a supermodel (Charlize Theron), a ditzy starlet (Melanie Griffith), and a wild young movie heartthrob (Leonardo DiCaprio).

However, I didn't see or hear anything particularly insightful except for the line of dialogue, "You can learn a lot about a society by who it chooses to celebrate." And what exactly do we learn about _our_ society from _Celebrity_? That it is one where just about every celebrity is willing to appear in a Woody Allen film--hence another star-studded ensemble, which also includes Joe Mantegna, Famke Janssen, Bebe Neuwirth, and Winona Ryder, who displays nice chemistry with Branagh (whose dead-on Allen impression _didn't_ annoy me). Without any clear ideas or a strong story, _Celebrity_ ends up as a showcase of fine character work by stars--a celebration of celebrity that I don't think Allen intended.

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