For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.
1,714 Ratings

Café Society

Directed by Woody Allen
United States, 2016
Comedy, Drama, Romance


In the 1930s, a young Bronx native moves to Hollywood, where he falls in love with the secretary of his powerful uncle, an agent to the stars. After returning to New York, he is swept up in the vibrant world of high society nightclub life.

Our take

Set against the backdrop of 1930s Hollywood, Woody Allen’s 47th movie dwells on the arbitrary yet enchanting nature of chance. With a charismatic Jesse Eisenberg playing the American auteur’s youthful alter ego, Café Society nostalgically weaves together social commentary, romance, and doubt.

Café Society Directed by Woody Allen
With its central theme of lost beauty and unfulfilled desire, the film counterpoints the characters muted depression with lustrous décor and elaborate lighting schemes. It’s designed like a golden nugget, with thick shafts of light shimmering through window blinds, and interior surfaces made to glimmer alluringly. Still, mid-table Woody is better than the A-game of most other journeyman hacks.
August 30, 2016
Read full article
You wonder if it’s going to coalesce in some madly ingenious way, but it’s hard to be ingenious when you’re churning out scripts like Allen does. Structure is loose in general: the film stops for tangents, like a summary of a minor character’s life (Corey Stoll as Ben the gangster) that could’ve been snipped altogether. Yet, in this case at least, the lack of cohesion is an asset, making a rather bleak statement on the meaninglessness of Life that’s surprisingly touching.
August 29, 2016
Read full article
At first glance, Café Society might seem like Allen treading water. Witty conversations revolve around fate, religion and morality expressing a collective nervousness about love and happiness. “The poignancy of life” reveals a push-pull between academic reason and brute violence. But much like Magic in the Moonlight, its power builds over time through the subtle gut punches thrown at each character’s prideful egos. Storaro’s sun-kissed cinematography makes that transition entirely seamless.
July 19, 2016
Read full article

What are people saying?

Related films