Woody Allen’s ‘Wonder Wheel’ Makes Me Wonder, Will it be Any Good?

If you’ve never been to the annual Mermaid Parade held in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York, then you’re missing out on one of the seven jaw-dropping spectacles of the modern world.

Just google some images and you’ll see what I mean.

I had the pleasure of going two years ago, and was gobsmacked by the festivities, costumes and hyperactive enthusiasm (imagine Sydney’s Mardi Gras or Melbourne Pride, combined with a huge cosplay Comic-Con slash mermaid themed freak show, parading around the boardwalk of Luna Park like raving maniacs, and you’re still only a third of the way to understanding this bizarre American tradition).

My point being, Coney Island as a setting is about as iconic as any ever filmed, and it’s been utilised well in movies in the past; for me it will always evoke the climactic scene in The Warriors (1979), Requiem for a Dream (2000), or the fantastic Sam Esmail TV series, Mr Robot.

The trailer for Woody Allen’s new film Wonder Wheel already showcases this unique setting utilised perfectly by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, who also shot Allen’s 2016 film Café Society (which was highly watchable, see our review here), so there’s a lot to be hopeful about.

The weird combination of Justin Timberlake, Jim Belushi, Kate Winslet and Juno Temple excites me, personally, in an almost disturbing, ‘weirdest boner right now’ kind of way.

The plot has all the cuttings of a great Woody Allen movie; set against a nostalgic 1950’s backdrop; an odd assortment of characters who are caught in the web of fate; a carousel operator played by Jim Belushi, his wife by Kate Winslet, the estranged daughter, and Timberlake as a budding playwright working as a lifeguard.

It’s like a Hollywood who’s-who list for people you’d never expect to be seen in the same room with each other!

Time will tell if this turns out to be a modern Allen classic, or one of his middle-range films, but it’s got all the setup to be an entertaining watch.

Check out the trailer, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.


Chas Farrow

About author
A man who likes films so much… He married one. Deserted Island Movie Collection: Undoubtedly has to be the collected works of Arnold Grossman, in particular the 2015 film ‘The Boat Builder’ starring Christopher Lloyd. Best Movie Snack: Roasted Coconut. Wait? Are we still on the deserted island?

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