Café Society (2016)

By Livia Peterson

Hollywood was different during the motion picture birth and expansion. It recognized originality matters more than sequels and reboots. Today, the film industry is sustained through ego and this infectious “drug” allows cliché films to exist. “Café Society” mocks the notion and simultaneously, reminds you the unique (and modest budget) films are mostly independently financed due to the mainstream superhero saturation. (For example, STX Entertainment and Broad Green Pictures produce economical films.)
 
Young Bronx native Robert “Bobby” Dorfman (Jesse Eisenberg) relocates to Hollywood. Bobby’s Uncle is Phil Stern (Steve Carell), a film star agent. Meanwhile, Bobby establishes a relationship with secretary Vonnie (Kristen Stewart). Subsequently, Bobby and the wife Veronica a.k.a. Vonnie (Blake Lively) return to New York and supervise the nightclub Café Society (hence the title).

Stewart and Eisenberg are the perfect couple and therefore, the charm and charisma influence you to enjoy “Café Society”. Carell still belongs to the absurd slapstick wheelhouse (move on, this stuff isn’t your thing). Lively and Eisenberg are the mismatched pair; however, Stewart elevates Lively to a certain extent.
 
You may recognize Woody Allen’s films are niche (meaning they’re not for everyone). Allen’s previous film “Irrational Man” (2015) is forgettable and foolish. Yet, “Café Society” is so retro and classy that it may feel like witnessing a film during the 1930s. The introductory credits echo the silent films and talkies. If only the film is not exhibited in the digital format! However, the platitudinous narration (by Allen), bothersome yet relevant transitions, and preposterous final act are minor shortcomings. Still, “Café Society” is a sight to behold.
 
“Café Society” captures the motion picture magic and allows it to fly. A-

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