Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen) - 2017

Jeff Bezos gave Woody $25 million to make this movie and he used the money to recreate a Coney Island scene from the 1950s.  This is a beautiful film in which the director explores the use of a series of unusual lighting situations including colors red & blue, and scenes in which the lighting is constantly changing.  Throughout the movie, Woody's expert crew met every challenge.  Although the cinematography is excellent, the story is quite depressing.  The only comic relief involves pyromania.  The lead characters played by Kate Winslet and Jim Belushi start out seeming like Audrey Meadows and Jackie Gleason (The Honeymooners) and end up channeling Kim Hunter and Marlon Brando (A Streetcar Named Desire).  This really does seem like a Tennessee Williams play with most of the cast involved in an unhappy love quadrangle (pentangle?).  Wonder Wheel might have been a popular movie in the 1950s but certainly fell flat with Generations X, Y and Z.  But, as we all know, Woody makes the movie he wants to make and Amazon came through with the bucks for some reason. [JAM 5/15/2019]