Review: Wonder Wheel


Title: Wonder Wheel
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Woody Allen
Starring: Juno TempleJustin Timberlake, Kate Winslet
Runtime: 1 hr 41 mins

What It Is: It’s the 1950’s and young Carolina (Temple) is trying to escape the mob. She’s returned to her previously estranged father Humpty (Jim Belushi) and his new wife Ginny (Winslet) in order to survive. Ginny has recently begun an affair with lifeguard Mickey (Timberlake) who, upon meeting Carolina is immediately smitten. Now it would seem that things are all taking a turn for the worst. All with a backdrop of Coney Island in its heyday.

What We Think: I am, and this is a known fact, a Woody Allen fan. I am also a man who separates personal business from the movie business. I cannot though tell you I enjoyed this film. It has severe pacing issues. Its script is not nearly as good as recent Allen gems like Blue Jasmine or Cafe Society. He’s able to get good performances out of his actors but that’s always kind of a stalwart of Allen’s films. Even through the disastrous writing on Woody’s part here kills any momentum this film had. Justin Timberlake continues to prove he’s got some acting chops. I look forward to whatever else he does.

Our Grade: D+, I cannot recommend this. This continues the trend with Allen’s films. He’ll make one great one and the next will be a toss-up in terms of quality. This toss-up goes on the side of not very good. In spite of some absolutely gorgeous visuals, there’s really nothing here for audiences to enjoy. Even if you are a person, like myself who can separate his personal demons from his cinematic work. Juno Temple continues being a star and Kate Winslet continues her reign as queen in my life. A place she’ll probably  always remain.

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