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Cafe Society

Woody Allen seems to have found freedom in his new partnership with Amazon Films, turning out one of his best looking and sweetest films in recent memory, CAFE SOCIETY.

Jesse Eisenberg is our proto-Woody this time around as Bobby Stern, the young and impressionable nephew of Hollywood studio boss Phil Stern (Steve Carell).

Bobby arrives in Hollywood anxious to learn and soon finds himself a capable assistant for all things Phil. He meets many tinsel town players, along with Phil's stunning young assistant Vonnie, capably played by Kristen Stewart.

Vonnie and Bobby are great together, but their relationship grows complicated when the married man Vonnie's been seeing turns out to be all too familar to Bobby.

The structure of the film is clever, almost giving us two complete Bobby stories in one. I won't say a word about the second, as its directly fed by the events of the first.

Carell is great in a funny and dramatic turn as Phil, Blake Lively is beautiful and terrific as a second Veronica in Bobby's life, Corey Stoll (The Strain) is rowdy fun as Bobby's much more worldly and violent brother and Woody Allen tops it all off with some heartfelt and funny narration. It's the first time in 30 years he's narrated a film without appearing in it.

For me the weakest part of the film is Eisenberg, and I think its just me. I liked him in "Adventureland" and "Zombieland' but between his performance here and recently as Lex Luthor, I just find him grating.

I may never get over how bad that Batman V Superman debacle was....anyway, I digress.

This is mild, witty, perfectly photographed to bring old Hollywood alive in high def and really enjoyable.

Kristin Stewart has really grown on me. She's getting close to making me forget about those horrible sparkling vampire movies that I've never seen.

Sit back and enjoy nostalgic good writing and plenty of romance in one technicolor package. CAFE delivers a tasty B.

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