“A giddy, gorgeous love-letter to Hollywood’s golden era”
A charming, bittersweet romantic comedy set in 1930s New York and Los Angeles, Café Society charts the bi-coastal sentimental education of young, Bronx-born Bobby Dorfman (Jesse Eisenberg).
Bobby travels to Hollywood – a place of dreams and illusions that initially leaves him ‘half-bored, half-fascinated’ – where his agent-to-the-stars uncle, Phil Stern (Steve Carell), gives him a break in the industry and fatefully introduces Bobby to his secretary, Vonnie (Kristen Stewart).
Sumptuously shot by Oscar-winning cinematographer Vittorio Storaro (The Last Emperor, Reds), Café Society evokes the nostalgia and whimsy of earlier Allen romantic comedies Midnight in Paris and Magic in the Moonlight.
As in any Allen film, there are also darker ambiguities at play alongside the comedy, but the director maintains an assured deftness of tone and a breezy pace.
Carell, in particular, is wonderful. The top-notch ensemble also features Blake Lively (The Age of Adaline), Parker Posey and Jeannie Berlin (as Bobby’s mother, Rose), with Allen’s familiar drawl outing him in an uncredited role as the film’s narrator.