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Stardust Memories

1980's STARDUST MEMORIES was one of the first times that Woody Allen addressed his critics that clamored for the goofiness of his earlier films. Of course Woody did so by portraying a thinly veiled alter ego with plenty of hilarious things to say about his films and their critics.

Woody plays Sandy Bates, a director who has turned from his early, slapstick style comedies to much more serious films. The clips we see come off as pretentious Bergman ripoffs, a criticism some had for Woody himself after the very serious drama "Interiors" released in 1978.

Attending a retrospective of his films, Sandy must face a barrage of over-eager fans, condescending critics and plenty of past lovers and co-stars.

Charlotte Rampling, Daniel Stern and Tony Roberts are all very good in their roles. Woody is in comfortable territory here and gets off plenty of great one-liners while skewering fame and expectations. A lot of fans hated this movie, thinking Woody was disrespecting them, but it never struck me as anything but clever and witty.

Flashbacks of his youth and a weekend visit to his family are especially funny scenes. Stardust isn't one of Woody's best, but its well written, smart and has some very strong moments. We'll give Woody's Memories a solid B, critics be damned.

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