Woody Allen filler can, well, fill you up. I imagine the opening weekend, seven days before Christmas Day. You want something modest, funny, sad, and relatable, if a bit performative. The kind of movie that would be a necessary break from a bunch of holiday blockbusters. Just a lil' something with an adult heart and soft jazz, padded with recycled jokes, more proposed trips to Paris, rationalizations, and uncomfortable remarks about sexual encounters with teenage girls. Wait for the quiet spaces, where nothing is spoken yet everything is said—that's where the strongest feelings occur. And you need that, more and more with every aging day.
It is definitely the case that Roman Polanski lacked—and still lacks—the moral credibility to take on a tale of a woman abused by men and society. But the story predates his predatory existence, and the material doesn't seem to suffer much from his directing hands.
Most of what you've read is true: it looks incredibly beautiful, it moves, for most of the runtime, organically, the production and costume designs are as perfect as one could hope for in a period…
What a complicated experience.
It is a pretty good movie, for the most part. It has a better formula for rom-com than most: it shows how destructive romantic relationships really are (sorry, lovers, most of you don't impress me).
It has a lot to like: moral ambiguity, complexity, and interactions that teeter-totter your sympathy. Classic Woody Allen. Mature filmmaking. It's well crafted, all the acting is good, it's usually very funny, and beautiful to look at. Allen even talks about…