Title: Bullets Over Broadway
Genre: Comedy, Crime
Director: Woody Allen
As Woody Allen’s MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (2011) doesn’t impress me much and his latest Italian carol TO ROME WITH LOVE (2012) gets horrifying feedbacks, so I fumble around his earlier oeuvre, thanks to his prolific filmography, thus comes BULLETS OVER BROADWAY (a 7 Oscar nomination receiver in 1994) courtesy of one simple criterion, more often than not, films in which Woody is not starred are much better than in which he is both the director/writer and the actor.
I have only watched a handful of Woody’s films, but BULLETS OVER BROADWAY could easily sit in the top row of any years-best list (for me, it just misses my top 10 film in 1994, which is an ultra-competitive year for films, but Cusack, Wiest, Tilly and Palminteri all crack into my top 10 acting rankings). Wiest and Tilly, obtained two Oscar nominations and Wiest was the final winner, who is divinely lofty and my pick as well, she is simply amazing in her delivering of the repetitive “don’t speak” lines and the voice warmup scenes before the final premier. Meanwhile Tilly is plainly acting herself (being slightly amusing and largely annoying), this is an exact example of the disparagement between a bona fide actress and an one-off sensation (Palminteri’s Oscar nomination may also belong to be the latter unfortunately), notwithstanding the fact that most acting labourers will never even procure such an opportunity, for instance John Cusack, who is playing Woody Allen in the film and is reliably superb but regrettably snubbed again (after THE GRIFTERS 1990).
Speaking of the film, the script has Woody’s distinctive bourgeoise and artist self-mockery in it and the genre mashup of gangster comedy and a broadway playwright trapped in his writer’s block works adroitly well, although the shooting shots are not Woody’s strong suit and the diamond-in-the-rough deployment is over-simplified (maybe there is just no reason beyond it). But on the whole, the witty conversations will always strike a chord if you are an ordinary man with a highbrow heart, and in the final analysis, Diane Wiest alone is worth the time.