Thursday, August 4, 2016

Cafe Society

Cafe Society
seen @ Lincoln Plaza Cinemas, New York NY

Ever since Vija took over our movie club, the one constant she's maintained year in and out is going to see Woody Allen's annual movie. He's been remarkably consistent in his filmmaking; I don't recall the last time he skipped a year, if indeed he has. Anyway, I always treat these outings as more of an excuse to be around friends rather than any great interest in Woody, although ever since I joined my writers group, I've had to leave early after the movie ends. Both groups meet on Sundays, you see.

My understanding is that after the movie, the party usually reconvenes at Lynn's dee-luxe apartment in the sky on the East Side. She has a terrace. I've seen pictures of it and it's amazing. Lots of plants and shrubbery, and room for maybe 15-20 people. I imagine the view must be great as well. The weather was drizzly this past Sunday, however, and Lynn opted to go home by herself after the movie so she could walk her dog or something.

Lynn has what they call a "therapy dog," named Mackenzie. She goes to hospitals and clinics with him, visiting patients. Something about Mackenzie's presence acts as a soothing, positive influence on them, and I can imagine why. He's small and fluffy, with big, dark, expressive eyes. If I were a cancer patient laid up in bed all day with nothing to do but watch TV, I'd probably welcome his company too. One of these days, I hope to meet him!


On Sunday, I asked Vija if all the things they say about Woody - his alleged improprieties with much younger women, the peculiar nature of his marriage to Soon-Yi Previn, not to mention his dislike of bike lanes - if any of that bothers her. I figured it mustn't, because she lines up to see his movies every year. She said she wasn't entirely sure she believed the worst of it - and in fairness, it's not like what happened with Bill Cosby, where you had a conga line of women coming forward with accusations against him. That hasn't happened to Woody yet.


Franz, being Franz, spun this long-winded and didactic theory that whatever Woody chooses to do off a movie set is nothing more than human nature at work and should be regarded as such. I told him he sounded like he was excusing immoral behavior in general, but I imagine he believes there's no such thing as morality. Susan said she just ignores that stuff about Woody. I never got Lynn's opinion. Me? I figure we'll never know the absolute truth about Woody one way or another.


I was kinda eager to see Cafe Society after seeing the trailer in front of Les Cowboys, since it takes place in Old Hollywood. It actually alternates between Hollywood and New York. Jesse Eisenberg comes to Tinseltown to try and make a living, gets entangled in a love triangle with Kristen Stewart and Steve Carell, goes back to New York and becomes a society swell, etc.

The consensus opinion of the rest of the crew was, it was good until the ending, which sort of petered out into nothing. I didn't think it was such a bad ending at first, but upon further reflection, maybe it was underwhelming. I wouldn't have bothered to see it on my own, but then, I wasn't on my own - and that was the point of going in the first place.

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