I am a Woody Allen film fan. My friends know it and lately, with the exception of "Match Point" it's been rough being a fan. His last outing "Scoop" with Scarlett Johansson and Hugh Jackman, was at times funny, but again more like some of his pitiful work of the late 90's. Allen's soon release his next film, "Cassandra's Dream" with Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell. This latest film, scheduled for release later this year, was filmed in England, the third in as many films and Allen's about to hop a plane to Spain where he'll film an untitled project (the working title is "Midnight in Barcelona") with Johansson, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz attached. The Guardian wonders why Allen's strayed from his New York stomping grounds
. Not since "Melinda and Melinda" which contained some wonderful New York moments, even if a deeply flawed film, has Allen's walked those same streets. It may be money - after all, Allen's not known for breaking any box office records. But his films usually cost no more than $20 million and expensive actors line up to take a pay cut to play a small role in his dialogue heavy films. Or at least they used to.
Nevertheless, I too am a bit pissy that Allen hasn't returned to the New York city scapes that made "Annie Hall," "Manhattan," "Husbands and Wives," "Hannah and Her Sisters," "Crimes and Misdemeanors," "Manhattan Murder Mystery", "Mighty Aphrodite" and "Deconstructing Harry" such fine films.
Even if it's simply to take New York back in time, as he did with "Bullets over Broadway," "Radio Days" and "Sweet and Lowdown", I'd be pleased. His recent attempts: "Small Time Crooks," (2000), "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion" (2001), "Anything Else" (2003), and "Melinda and Melinda" (2004) don't come anywhere close his caliber of New York filmmaking in the late 70's through the early 90's.
Unfortunately, the next two years won't give me or Allen fans anywhere that fix.