Here’s what I know; my feelings on Woody Allen are that he belongs in that genius trilogy camp few have achieved: brilliant writer, tremendous comedian and excellent musician. I don’t want to believe he molested his children and stand by my stance that Mia Farrow is a manipulative woman scorned. Was it ‘right’ that Woody fell in love with his adoptive daughter? No, but sometimes feelings aren’t ‘right’. Had the Soon-Yi relationship blown itself out, I may be suspect, but how can you argue with enduring love? Alec Baldwin is 25 years older than his current wife, hence he could have been her adoptive ‘dad’.
My son feels polar opposite to me on this issue, so this is for him: Liam, don’t hate me for being an optimist.
And I think Woody indirectly tries to explain that in Wonder Wheel. You may think this is a stretch, and in that case, the film should be called Wonder Oval, but in the film, Justin Timberlake has a monologue where he discusses how little control we have over fate or feelings. Aka, was it Woody’s idea to adopt 9 kids and that due to this an affinity to one of them would develop and ascended the paternal? Sure, Woody could have divorced Mia and moved to Timbuktu (off the coast of Mali, first time in my life when I had time to ask, ‘Where the hell is Timbukto?’), to avoid this ordeal.
And now you’re asking, honey, isn’t this a movie review?
Ok, ok, so I’m avoiding the fact that Wonder Wheel was downright depressing. It’s a story of a family trapped in impoverished conditions making poor choices. And my son might say, Woody Allen is a rich man who made poor choices….but is he miserable? If Wonder Wheel is a scope into his life, perhaps he is…to which all the Allen haters should rejoice. If this theory is true, Allen is downright despondent.
The best thing about the movie, which is a marvel, is the color and lighting, cinematography at its finest. If only some of this beauty could have bled into just one character. It’s pretty sad when the happiest character in the movie is a neglected boy who’s a pyromaniac.
The acting is as good as it can be. I’m a huge Kate Winslet fan, but both her character and Jim Belushi’s were both desperate 2-d material. I never forgot who they were as celebrities. Same with Justin Timberlake, he was too pretentious for me to forget who he is. The highlight of the actors was Juno Temple, who was given a character with the most layers.
So I have requests now: Woody, please make one more comedy, don’t end on this tragic note. And Soon-Yi, please write a memoir defending your husband and setting the record straight.