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If 2016’s Café Society was writer-director Woody Allen’s attempt to introduce a younger generation to the world of Woody Allen, then this might just be his followup attempt to show the Kids of Today what a filmed Tennessee Williams play looks and sounds like. And in case the hothouse speechifying and desperate characters trapped in even more desperate situations aren’t enough to clue you in, he adds a narrator/player (Justin Timberlake, eager) who goes to NYU and dreams of writing plays about The Human Condition, and gives us a star (Kate Winslet, reticent) who was a promising stage actress before she made the awful mistake that landed her as a waitress in a Coney Island oyster house, living over the shooting gallery with her dim, decent lump of a husband, her fire-haired firebug of a kid, and her own fast-fading youth. Don’t be fooled by the way the boardwalk’s bright lights make everything glow: it’s a nasty bit of business, one in which everybody disappoints everybody else in exactly the ways you would expect. Or maybe you wouldn’t, if this was your first spin on the melodrama merry-go-round. A ruined-looking Jim Belushi provides some welcome humanity amid the doomed dramatis personae. (2017) — Matthew Lickona

Rated PG-13 | 1 hour, 41 minutes
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