out of 4
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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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