Scott Marks 4:30 p.m., Dec. 5
In Annie Hall, Woody Allen wrote a zingy throwaway line ridiculing a saliva dribbling, shopping bag-schlepping lunatic who wanders screaming into a cafeteria. We mock the things we are to be. Thirty-six years (and just as many films) later finds him crafting an entire feature around a more upscale version of the babbling bedlamite. We join the ever-exceptional Cate Blanchett, a once wealthy socialite in mid-comeuppance, forced to move in with her working class sister (Sally Potter). Woody squanders much of his time paying cross-tribute to Tennessee Williams and John Cassavetes (A Streetcar Under the Influence?), resulting in a finished product that has little to show for itself save for a healthy contempt for rich Republicans. Character introductions are accompanied by five minutes of expository dialogue, and for a man with as many films to his credit as Allen, the filmmaker’s ability to artlessly incorporate a flashback structure hasn’t changed one iota since Take the Money and Run. 2013.
— Scott Marks
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