Cafe Society by Woody Allen opened the 69th Cannes Film Festival with a vibrant, glamorous and jazzy love and story between Hollywood and New York.
With Cafe Society, the American director Woody Allen, one of the most famous regulars on La Croisette, opens for the third time the Festival de Cannes. While we were sleeping a bit with Owen Wilson at Midnight in Paris (2011), you feel invigorated by that good Cafe Society, 47th feature film of the director, screenwriter and sometimes actor, who brings together on the screen the very attractive Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Steve Carell and the gorgeous Blake Lively.
Love, always Love
Beverly Hills in the thirties. Vonnie (Veronica), a young Californian played by Kristen Stewart, is drawn by two men: her boss, Phil Dorfman, a wealthy and influential artists manager (Steve Carell) and his nephew, Bobby Dorfman, a young New Yorker recently arrived, fleeing a mediocre future at his father’s jewelry, and dreaming of making his mark in the thwarting Hollywood.
Brillantly orchestrated by Woody Allen, the plot drives the shy and lanky but very romantic Bobby and the powerful Phil to discover they compete for the favors of the same woman.
Phil eventually leave his wife for his secretary, and Vonnie will choose to marry a wealth and a comfortable future, although she also loves her young suitor, whose side of “deer caught in the headlights of a car” she likes.
A relation tinged with nostalgia
Heartbroken, sick of the frivolity of Hollywood, Bobby returns to New York and become a business partner of his brother Ben, a gangster who, after having learned the ropes in the Bronx streets, just “convinced” the owner of nightclub to sell him his establishment by drowning his body in concrete.
Bobby finds love in the person of another gorgeous Veronica (Blake Lively) and starts a family. The night club flourishes in the thriving era of Cafe Society, driving celebrities and underworld on jazz or fox trot tunes.
One day Vonnie arrives with Bobby’s uncle, and put the young man in agony recounting key moments of the dream life she’s leading, as familiar of major movie stars. Unbeknownst to their spouses, Vonnie and Bobby meet again and revive a relation tinged with nostalgia, as their mutual feelings are still alive.
Bathed in Jazz
Woody Allen does not play in Cafe Society but intervenes in the form of a voiceover in Bobby Dorfman’ loves and tribulations between the Bronx and Beverly Hills. The film is bathed by the Jazz, omnipresent to support the scenes with languorous or catchy tunes. A virtuoso of light, natural or ambient, Woody has created an atmosphere of golden light in the scenes, as can a romantic dinner be bathed in the soft glow of candles. let’s be taken away by the romance, played by inspired actors, captivated by Kristen Stewart’s seductive and expressive lovely face.
The author has the genius of dialogues, both of vaudeville or philosophical inspiration – like during the evocation of life after death – some dialogues full of humor even if “life’s not a piece of cake” or rather, as Bobby says in the film “life is a comedy written by a sadistic author!”
With a mixture of sometimes candid grace and deep thinking, pessimism about love but hope about “feelings that do not die”, Cafe Society is high in feelings and humor, full-bodied with criminal violence scenes for rhythm and flavor.
Cafe Society by Woody Allen
Out of Competition – 1h36
Parade of stars on the Red Carpet
A multitude of stars in fashion dresses paraded up the Red Carpet before mounting the famous Marches Rouges including Eva Longoria, Julianne Moore, Justin Timberlake, Susan Sarandon, Victoria Beckham, Emmanuelle Devos, Jane Birkin, Elsa Silberstein… Pierre Lescure, President of the Cannes Film Festival, and its Délégué Général, Thierry Fremaux, welcomed the stars on top of the steps before posing with the whole jury for the photographers before the compact crowd on La Croisette.
It is the actress of “The Tree of Life”, Jessica Chastain and Vincent Lindon, Best Actor Award last year, who pronounced in chorus traditional solemn announcement: “We declare open the 69th Festival de Cannes”.
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