Wonder Wheel ★★½

Trading in the conventions and tropes presented by the frame story (that is 1950s American plays and prestige lit) - with the frame story setting that up it actually could have been brilliant. An underrated gem like Cassandra's Dream actually invokes that vibe quite well. But unfortunately there's too many things wrong with this one - starting with the casting. I mean they've been trying to make Timberlake the happy-go-lucky doesn't-deserve-his-spoils doofus for a while now and it doesn't really work. He usually hams and winks it up too much. He's actually better playing it straight and that's sad. Belushi also needs a more serious actor like Keitel 15 years ago or something. Winslet and Juno Temple are great but besides a few powerful monologues it's just very stale stuff. The Storarro cinematography is somewhere between carnivalesque and cheeseball - which sorta makes thematic sense, but not emotional sense. There are a lot of good ideas here about aging, jealousy, family and romance. Winslet's kid as a little pyromaniac is a wonderful touch. But overall just a lot of cringing and Belushi's attempts at humor drag me to hell.