Thursday, 14 May 2009

Woody Allen's Celebrity

During the day I sorted completed work cards into one pile and generally worked out what to do over the rest of the week. I was not planning to go out unless the weather prevented play in the Test match at Chester le Street. I then watched Celebrity in the evening. You either tune in to the way Woody Allen looks at life or you do not. Most critics did not like Celebrity his1998 black and white film about those who seek fame and the company of the famous

Kenneth Branagh plays a would be serious novelist who first attempts were critically savaged but still has ambitions while working as a journalist and bored with his highly strung and unconfident wife becomes sex obsessed with any and every young woman who crosses his path. The film is full of excruciating social situations, art show and film previews, parties and fashionable restaurants. One interest is Melanie Griffiths who he first meets as a film extra and with whom the later establishes a relationship after meeting her again when she is living with someone and he has just arranged for his girl friend to move in and have her possessions brought over. She, Winona Ryder, then destroys the only copy of his novel in revenge. That he has no copy is one of several absurd points which removes credibility from this piece of well trodden nonsense.

The film is amusing for the appearance of Leonardo Di Caprio who invites Branagh to participate in a four way swinging session. Another is the cameo appearance of Allison Janney (CJ of the West Wing) interviewed having a posh nosh, Charlize Theron plays a super model who is turned on which ever part of her body is touched but abandon Branagh when he gets so excited that he turns his Aston Martin into a store window.

Judy Davis plays Robin his neglected and abandoned wife who is picked up by a TV executive who for some reason enters the cubicle where she is waiting to see an eminent plastic surgeon and who compliments her on the work that has been carried when she has decided not to have any. Why the man finds her personality and appearance more desirable as a potential wife and mother given the opportunities previously and subsequently is a further flaw although that he is able to get her a job when she has no talent or experiences in the industry probably is not. I liked the ending in which Branagh meets his happily married and confident former wife who has become a celebrity interviewer in her own right whereas he still struggles to write his book, finding out that someone else has made a success of a similar theme and abandoned by all the girl friends including Melanie Griffiths. He is genuinely delighted with the outcome for his former wife. It was time for an early night.

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