Reel-View Ratings: The Bigger The Beard, The Better The Movie
Woody Allen’s latest is just another in the long string of workman-like movies Allen has been pushing out for decades. Bobby (Jesse Eisenberg) heads to Hollywood as the protégé of his uncle Phil (Steve Carrell) and ends up falling for the luminous Vonnie (Kristen Stewart). There’s some disillusionment, gangsters and a lot of that patented, timeless Allen regret — but the very pretty film never quite crosses over into memorable territory. Performances are strong across the board, but Stewart in particular shines. It’s just a pity that the story they inhabit (hampered by Allen’s bored narration) doesn’t quite elevate them to where they can come alive.
Opens in July 29 in wide release
Anthony Weiner will go down in political history as the man who got into not one, but two sexting scandals involving his erstwhile wiener. Weiner follows his 2013 mayoral campaign that hoped to remind the public that he had been (and still was) a rising, fiery young politician before a dick pic gone astray derailed his career — until, of course, this campaign, too, gets bulldozed by revelations of a relapse. It’s an astonishing amount of access filtered out into portraits of a flawed but passionate man; his silently suffering, enigmatic wife, Huma Abedin; and his incredulous staffers. It’s no easy watch, but it’s a fascinating glimpse into a surreal world.
Plays at 1 and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 2 and 3, and 1 p.m. Aug. 6 at Doris Duke Theatre
MY SUMMER IN PROVENCE (AVIS DE MISTRAL)
Three young Parisian teenagers get shipped off to the countryside and their cantankerous, old-fashioned grandfather for the summer. Nobody is happy about this arrangement, but — wait for it — eventually everyone learns to appreciate what the other can offer, and harmony is restored with sappy-sweet haste. There are no surprises in this film. Absolutely none. But the French countryside is picture-perfect, if nothing else, and actor Jean Reno adds a human touch as the grouchy grandpa. It’s an appropriate romp for children, but adults will be bored.
Plays at 1:45, 5:30 and 9:15 p.m. July 31 at The Movie Museum