Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake star in a creaky but engaging Woody Allen melodrama.
It’s set in 1950s Coney Island, New York’s gaudy working-class seaside playground, where Winslet’s clam-house waitress begins an affair with Timberlake’s young lifeguard, a would-be playwright with intellectual pretensions to match her own yearnings.
The situation becomes fraught, however, when the estranged daughter (Juno Temple) of Winslet’s husband, Jim Belushi’s beefy carousel operator, turns up, on the run from her gangster husband and seeking refuge.
How much you enjoy all this will depend on your attitude to latter-day Allen. You’ll need tolerance for the heightened dialogue and contrived set-up and for miscast Timberlake, who also serves as the film’s fourth-wall-breaking narrator. You’ll also need to be able to stomach the sight of Allen putting another delusional middle-aged woman though the emotional wringer.
Get past those hurdles, however, and you’ll be rewarded by the gorgeous cinematography of Vittorio Storaro (The Conformist and Apocalypse Now), by Santo Loquasto’s stunning period production design and by Winslet’s incandescent leading turn.
This film premieres on Sunday 2 December.