Café Society was written and directed by Woody Allen, who has won several Oscars including one for best picture, for the famous Annie Hall. The film features Jesse Eisenberg in the main role as Allen’s alter ego – Bobby Dorfman – as is typical of Allen’s films. It was an enormous success during the Cannes Film Festival in May 2016, and got many people excited for the newest Woody-spectacle. The film attracted perhaps an older audience as his original and dedicated fans got their hands on the first tickets, but in the end got a good group of people to make their way to the cinema on the day of release, September 2nd 2016.
Set in the 1930s, the film follows the occurrences and often misadventures in Bobby Dorfman’s work, family and love life after he moves to Hollywood. Besides the talented Jesse Eisenberg, the movie also features Kristen Stewart as Vonnie and Blake Lively as Veronica, subjects of Bobby’s conflicted love life, and Steve Carell as his uncle Phil. The film is also infused with a harmonious combination of colours, music and landscapes that gives the story a pleasing atmosphere.
Allen was not only famous for his alter-ego characters, but also the fashionable aspects, allowing the audience to almost feel the delicate textures and taste the vibrant colours. The makers truly outdid themselves regarding the looks and feels of the 1930s, even collaborating with Chanel to assemble the perfect costumes for the fantastic characters. According to the Telegraph, the gown worn by Blake Lively’s character was made from real Lamé (silver fabric) and the jewels worn by Kristen Stewart’s character were all original Chanel pieces which required a total of 15 bodyguards.
Fashion aside, the plot was quite brilliant. The characters were not overly complex, allowing for a good flow of the story. Bobby was a real delight and had the audience laugh at his comically cynical nature. La fin could always be discussed – its ambiguity might have left some viewers hanging, while others might have preferred the ending this way. Nevertheless, the film could be considered a wonderfully-told and inspiring story. Café Society is, overall, quite a pleasing film to watch, and definitely worth it.
-Femke & Catalina