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Wonder Wheel is Woody Allen's most autobiographical film in years, unfortunately

08 December 2017

Winslet has avoided addressing the allegations against Allen.

The actress has faced a backlash for defending her decision to work with Allen, including from Allen's adopted daughter Dylan Farrow.

"We are in the midst of a revolution", Farrow begins her op-ed, noting how many women have bravely spoken up about harassment and incidents of misconduct they've experienced and the consequences their abusers have faced.

Kate Winslet has nothing but niceties for her director Woody Allen's portrayal of women - even as his daughter, Dylan Farrow, calls out stars like Winslet for their enduring support.

In 2016, Farrow's brother Ronan, now the author of multiple New Yorker stories on Weinstein and his alleged victims, wrote an essay in The Hollywood Reporter about the alleged incident. When asked more recently about the number of men in entertainment who have been accused of misconduct, Gerwig called the revelations "heartbreaking"; although she did not comment on Weinstein in particular in that interview. She writes that "it breaks my heart" when men and women dodge or don't fully answer questions about working with the director. In Woody Allen's latest film this drama may be a wheel, but it also needs to have a point.

"I think on some level Woody is a woman", Winslet joked to the Sydney Morning Herald. As the actor in the film, you just have to step away and say, I don't know anything, really, and whether any of it is true or false. On one side is Kate Winslet's Ginny, a former actress who now works as a waitress in a boardwalk clam house, and who is unhappily married to Jim Belushi's Humpty, a bullying operator of a merry-go-round and recovering alcoholic.

Even a doubter heads into a new Woody Allen movie hoping it's going to be one of the Good Ones. A big exception was last summer's "Café Society", Allen's most ambitious and affecting movie in ages, energized by a luminous performance by Kristen Stewart and Vittorio Storaro's breathtaking digital cinematography.

"It is a testament to Allen's public relations team and his lawyers that few know these simple facts", she said.

If she were surrounded by a better movie, there'd be much to talk about in Winslet's performance: how her voice gets subtly, endearingly higher during a drunk scene; how you can see hope drain from her face as if a plug suddenly were pulled; how she valiantly nearly sells a line like, "I hate it, this whole honky-tonk fairyland". "It meant the world to me when Ellen Page said she regretted working with Allen, and when actresses Jessica Chastain and Susan Sarandon told the world why they never would".

Farrow was seven when, according to her accounts, Allen got her alone in the attic and sexually assaulted her. She also says that Allen put his thumb in her mouth, climbed into her bed in his underwear, and constantly touched her. He then sexually assaulted me.

The 82-year-old director always denied the allegations against him.

In the op-ed, Farrow draws parallels between Allen and Weinstein in how they reportedly responded to the allegations. In 2014, after Farrow wrote an open letter about the alleged abuse, several stars were quiet or neutral on the subject.

Farrow ended her piece by stating that the "system" worked for Weinstein, and it still works for Allen as well. He eventually provides Winslet with a full-blown Blanche DuBois meltdown - which feels a bit too soon after doing the same for Blanchett only four years ago - but then it's been a staple of Allen's oeuvre ever since Woody and Diane Keaton play-acted "A Streetcar Named Desire" back in 1973's "Sleeper", with Keaton as a killer Kowalski.

It's worth pointing out that despite active criminal investigations in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Park City, Utah, Weinstein has never been convicted of anything either.

Wonder Wheel is Woody Allen's most autobiographical film in years, unfortunately