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582 Ratings

Wonder Wheel

Directed by Woody Allen
United States, 2017


On Coney Island in the 1950s, a lifeguard tells the story of a middle-aged carousel operator, his beleaguered wife, and the visitor who turns their lives upside-down.

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Wonder Wheel Directed by Woody Allen
It’s mildly diverting to see the subplots click together as if Fate had set a trap for Ginny to reveal the worst side of herself. It’s as if Allen were playing a game called “Cause and Effect.” But when the writer-director has to sustain a flight of passion or imagination, the self-conscious structure he set up gets in the way.
December 01, 2017
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This is sophisticated filmmaking, but so what? Wonder Wheel is magical in a superficial way; it has a surface beauty that can’t disguise the material’s basic banality and ugliness—or the feeling that we’ve seen it all before. . . . And Storaro’s cinematography, while remarkable on a technical level, becomes the equivalent of Blanche’s papier-mâché lantern—a cheap bauble slung decorously overtop of a stark, unrewarding artistic perspective.
December 01, 2017
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Mr. Allen certainly keeps you busy with all these colors, tones, influences, complications, stereotypes and histrionics, but to little end. As has always been the case with his movies, the actors seem to have delivered the performances they came to the set with, so the strong — in this case, the invaluable Ms. Winslet — are strong while the rest of the cast members do what they can with varying degrees of success.
November 30, 2017
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What are people saying?

  • El Biffo's rating of the film Wonder Wheel

    Boring as hell, but otherwise great! Beautiful photography, and I liked the gimmick of oversaturated colors. Coney Island looks great, and tremendous detail went into the set design, down to the vaseline glass on the kitchen table. As usual, the music is really swell. Impeccable performances by a truly great cast. If only they had had a good script to work with! At this point Woody should hire a ghostwriter.

  • chanandre's rating of the film Wonder Wheel

    Sorry McDormand, Streep, Mary J, Rooney, Robin Wright, it will be next to impossible to not give the Oscar to Winslet (and she has two Oscar-worthy performances this year alone: also 'The Mountain Between Us'). She is a powerhouse. I swear this woman emits light in the form of acting radiation. That last sequence has a Garbo-stare quality to it that will haunt you for years. Best actress in the biz, bar N O N E ! <3

  • Daniel S.'s rating of the film Wonder Wheel

    A drama in Technicolor. Mobsters, arsons, alcohol and threatening skies form the hostile bunch that the 'Wonder Wheel' characters have to face. 'Interiors' was Allen's first serious film, this one could be named 'Exteriors'. Thus, we comme full circle. Strongly recommended.

  • Lights in the Dusk's rating of the film Wonder Wheel

    Unravels into 'Baby Jane' levels of hysteria in its final act, becoming shrill when it should've been sensitive. While Café Society is generally better, I enjoyed the meta-theatricality of Allen's latest, in which he pushes the artificiality of the cinematic form the furthest since Shadows & Fog. It's almost exactly the film Fassbinder would've made had he gone to Hollywood in 1982, with obvious similarities to Lola.

  • Bilouaustria's rating of the film Wonder Wheel

    Coney Island is a great place for a movie and Allen´s sense of staging matches well with Storaro´s colorful images. They compliment well each other. Allen´s tendency to get distracted (by a good line, a good looking actress) is under good surveillance with Storaro : he found again some kind of efficiency. The story isn´t the great drama it pretends to be and the middle section is weaker but a pleasant surprise it is.

  • msmichel's rating of the film Wonder Wheel

    This shrill and often depressing melodrama from Woody Allen does its cast no favours and results in Allen's worst since 'To Rome with Love'. However if one can remove the script and actors this is one beautiful picture featuring excellent set design, costumes, art direction and stellar cinematography from master Vittorio Storaro. Winslet is wasted here with an underwritten role and the supporting cast flounder.

  • smndvdcl's rating of the film Wonder Wheel

    The conundrum continues: should great actors separate the art and the artist and work with Woody Allen on projects hoping to learn of his mastery, or are they complicit with the alleged abuses that have never been brought to trial against the auteur by participating in his creative projects? As for 'Wonder Wheel', neither Allen's worst nor best.

  • josé neves's rating of the film Wonder Wheel

    Digital. Loquasto's Coney Island's recreation is exquisite but Storaro's obviously saturated cinematography don't reach the level of what he has achieved in Coppola's "One From the Heart"; not even the fact that this overdose of naturalism, sometimes enjoyable, can go beyond a possible Allen's approach to a modus and universe that is his only but here in a secure application mode, equally saturated with music.

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