ALL HAIL THE NEW WOODY

WOODY ALLEN FINDS A NEW SUR­RO­GATE IN CAFÉ SO­CI­ETY

Empire (UK) - - PREMIERE -

ORTY-SEVEN films into his glo­ri­ous ca­reer, and Woody Allen may have fi­nally found the new Woody Allen. Over the years, the Wood­ster has em­ployed a num­ber of hot young things, in­clud­ing John Cusack, Ken­neth Branagh and Jason Biggs, as thinly veiled stand-ins for the real thing, but most have sim­ply plumped for Woody im­pres­sions, while none have quite cap­tured the blend of wit and ex­is­ten­tial panic of the real thing. But with his lat­est movie, Café So­ci­ety, which opened the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val in May, Allen’s search for a sur­ro­gate may have hit the mother lode in the form of Jesse Eisen­berg. As Bobby Dorf­man, a young man from the Bronx who seeks his for­tune, and pos­si­ble ro­mance with Kris­ten Ste­wart, in the Hol­ly­wood of the 1930s, Eisen­berg ploughs his own fur­row while strik­ing neu­rotic notes that seem quintessen­tially Allen.

“If I was Jesse’s age I prob­a­bly would have played this role,” ad­mits Allen. “But I could not have played it as in­ter­est­ingly as he played it. I would have played it as a co­me­dian and it would have been very one-di­men­sional.”

Allen may feel he’s too old for frontof-cam­era du­ties, but be­hind the cam­era the old dog still knows a few tricks. It’s a pe­riod film, a rar­ity for him, while the plot al­lows Allen, one of the world’s most fa­mous New York­ers, to com­pare his home town and LA dur­ing one of Amer­ica’s most iconic pe­ri­ods. “It’s an era that has al­ways fas­ci­nated me,” he says. “In LA, there was a cer­tain amount of it that was very glam­orous be­cause they had the movie stars, but New York had an all-night so­phis­ti­ca­tion that Hol­ly­wood didn’t have.” Take that, LA.

CAFÉ SO­CI­ETY IS OUT LATER THIS YEAR.

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