"Celebrity," Woody Allen's latest film, is a contemporary comedy that takes place in New York City and revolves around the romantic and professional aspirations of a dynamic group of individuals
"Celebrity," Woody Allen's latest film, is a contemporary
comedy that takes place in New York City and revolves around the
romantic and professional aspirations of a dynamic group of individuals.
Set within the glamorous worlds of filmmaking, book publishing,
fashion and television, the movie takes a wry and poignant look
at the ways in which love can be lost and found and how, much
as we like to think that we can control our heart's fate, in fact,
we can't. In addition to his portrayal of romantic longing, Mr.
Allen turns his highly perceptive eye and camera on the phenomenon
of celebrity, the pursuit of which for many is equal to the quest
for love. "Celebrity" stars Hank Azaria, Kenneth Branagh,
Judy Davis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Melanie Griffith, Famke Janssen,
Michael Lerner, Joe Mantegna, Bebe Neuwirth, Winona Ryder, Charlize
Theron and many others. Written and directed by Woody Allen, "Celebrity"
is a Miramax Films release of a Sweetland Films presentation of
a Jean Doumanian production. It was presented at the Venice Film
Festival and has been chosen as the opening night selection for
the 36th New York Film Festival. It will open in theatres
nationwide in November.
Kenneth Branagh and Judy Davis star as a divorced couple whose
paths briefly cross as they pursue new lives. When we first meet
Ms. Davis, her marriage has recently ended and she is lost in
a vague malaise as she tries to come to grips with the reality
of her situation. A chance meeting with a television executive
played by Joe Mantegna transforms her life - they fall in love
and marry and she becomes a television celebrity. "She's
an inhibited, in a sense, half-formed woman who's been in a marriage
where she was dominated and willingly so," states Ms. Davis
of her character. "In the course of the film, through a series
of circumstances, she does really radically transform and they're
not circumstances that she goes after, they come at her. So she
says 'yes'." "She's lucky," says Mr. Allen of the
Davis character who finds happiness, ironically, by becoming the
sort of woman that she used to disdain. "In playing her,
my tendency was to want to make moral judgments on what she was
becoming," says Davis. "But I think Woody would say
that's not relevant. She's happy and yet she's in a dilemma."
Branagh is a celebrity journalist who has fallen in love with
the glitz of fame; he pursues a number of unsuccessful connections
with a series of beautiful women played by Charlize Theron, Winona
Ryder and Famke Janssen. At the same time, he attempts to ingratiate
himself with a number of famous people who might be useful to
him professionally including a beautiful actress, played by Melanie
Griffith, and a young actor played by Leonardo DiCaprio.
"Kenneth's character to me was a guy who, perhaps if he had
gone a different route, was capable of better things," says
Allen. Unlike Davis, Branagh's romantic course is far less satisfying.
"Often people look around too much. They think that there's
always something better to be gotten elsewhere," says Famke
Janssen who plays Branagh's girlfriend, a New York book editor
who encourages him to return to serious writing. "There's
an undercurrent of melancholia, a certain kind of emptiness to
his life because he's been chasing all these shimmers," says
Branagh. "When I first read the script I thought it one of
the bleakest I'd ever<
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