"A Rainy Day in New York" by Woody Allen: Film Criticism

Wednesday, 04.12.2019
22:38 clock

Two secrets surround Woody Allen. The first is that of August 4, 1992. What happened that day, whether Allen has actually passed on to his adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow, will probably never be clarified. Wort here stands against word, and a charge that is not charged, which is a proof of Allen's innocence, against a court verdict, which accuses him of "gross misconduct" against his daughter.


The second secret is why in his films young women are so often attracted to significantly older men and vice versa. Although this fact has been known for decades – in "Manhattan" from 1979, for example, main character Tracy (Mariel Hemingway) was a 17-year-old student, while Allen's alter ego was at the age of 43, the last time the constellation was in "Café Society" by 2016 to watch.

Since the abuse allegations against Allen in connection with #MeToo are discussed again broadly, the riddling of the second secret has again gained urgency – without, of course, one would expect new findings. But amazing: All latest movie "A Rainy Day in New York" offers after all the time now a lot of explanation.

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"A Rainy Day in New York":
The right of the second night

  In the arms of three older men Allen Allen drives the student Ashleigh (Elle Fanning, 21) within the eponymous "rainy day": first in the director of Roland Pollard (Liev Schreiber, 52), then in his screenwriter Ted Davidoff (Jude Law, 46), finally in the actor Francisco Vega (Diego Luna, 39).


For an interview with her favorite director Pollard, Ashleigh has traveled from her fictional Liberal Arts College to New York City. However, because "Rolly" is in a crisis of meaning and this quickly turns into a drinking crisis, the interview shortens on a few nervously giggled questions, then "Rolly" is already gone.

  The search for him, however, Ashleigh then operates without significant focus, because their libidinal flutter is at least as large as their intellectual. At the end she stands in underwear on a rainy fire escape, as her spontaneously chosen lover Vega has scared her away. And because she has trouble getting over the hasty trench coat, she then flits through the rain for a few more minutes in underwear.


"A Rainy Day in New York" USA 2018
Written and directed by: Woody Allen Performers: Timothée Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez, Jude Law, Liev Schreiber, Diego Luna, Annaleigh Ashford, Rebecca HallProduction: Gravier Productions, Perdido ProductionsRelease: FilmWorldLength: 93 MinutesKinostart: 5 December 2019

  Ashleigh's favorite director, and with him her journalistic aspirations have moved in the meantime in the distant future, but has "Rolly" early provided the key scene of the film: Once again listen to an uninhibited crush on his work, as she escapes Ashleigh at the beginning of their conversation, that does the so-called self-doubting star director so well that it does not matter to him that Ashleigh can say nothing of substance about his films.


Untouched by age, experience and matured taste judgment – so this artist likes his female fans, so they protect him from self-reflection, so he can go on as before. (Which translates well to the supply of young actresses, from Scarlett Johansson to Kristen Stewart and Emma Stonebis Elle Fanning, with whom Allen has worked since 2000.)

  The fact that Ashleigh is accompanied on her New York trip by her boyfriend of the same age (played by Timothée Chalamet), makes the matter meanwhile not complicate, but clearer. Gatsby is the name of this boyfriend, and if it is not the name already dubbed, it should do the tweed jacket, which is literally two sizes too big: This young man is just a precursor, a prototype of the city neurotic, whose sophisticated models have long been the Upper West Side and not necessarily better mood, but have a better livelihood. Why stay as a woman with the young man, when you can skip the older two decades of lewdness and at least one divorce?

  Ultimately, "A Rainy Day in New York" makes clear that not the female but the male characters are the problem at Woody Allen. Their development potential is limited to physical decline. Politically, aesthetically and, above all, emotionally, they are decidedly on the spot, not caring about their families or alternative models of masculinity. They are left with variance alone, whether they have been cheated or betrayed in their unfortunate marriages.

In the video: The Trailer for "A Rainy Day in New York"


Jessica Miglio / Engraving Producti


Since they are only temporal graduations of each other, the younger men can recognize themselves in all the elders. Therefore there is no quarrel between them for the women. Jung resigns without complaint, because the right of the second night eventually passes on to the next generation.

  Until that happens, the young men can practice. In "A Rainy Day in New York" Gatsby is already trying to find his way around: As Ashleigh whirls through the city, he met the sister of an old flame and fell in love with her. The younger sister, of course.

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