Juno Temple

Film Review: Wonder Wheel

by Carrie Kahn on December 8, 2017

Allen’s newest far from Wonder-ful   

Lifeguard and wanna-be writer Mickey (Justin Timberlake) has an affair with the unhappily married Ginny (Kate Winslet).

Let’s first address the elephant in the room. Yes, Wonder Wheel, writer/director Woody Allen’s newest, is about a man who finds himself falling in love with his girlfriend’s step-daughter. I suspect there are many filmgoers who have made up their minds about Allen, and so either won’t see this particular film because of its uncomfortable parallels to his real life, or because, in agreement with his daughter Dylan Farrow’s recent essay, they don’t want to support the work of an accused sexual predator. If you fall in one of those categories, you need read no further, but for those of you who still remain curious and open to Allen’s art, there is another, more pedestrian reason to avoid this picture: it’s just not very good.
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William Friedkin directs Emile Hirsch and Juno Temple on the set of KILLER JOE

“Fire away. Anything. Don’t be polite.” William Friedkin is feeling pretty candid these days. Maybe it’s because after nearly six decades in the business, the Academy Award-winning director of such classics as The French Connection and The Exorcist has nothing left to prove. Maybe it’s because he’s been working on his memoirs, due next year from HarperCollins, and is still in confessional mode. Or maybe he’s just well past the age where you stop giving a fuck what anyone thinks about you (he turns 77 this month). The night before our conversation, Spinning Platters attended a screening of his gleefully sadistic new movie, the NC-17-rated Killer Joe, followed by a moderated Q&A with Friedkin that quickly turned into a rowdy one-man show. Refusing to be seated, Friedkin stood in front of the jam-packed theater for nearly an hour and pontificated at length about his career, the controversy over Killer Joe, and anything the audience wanted to talk about. He even volunteered questions he figured we were too sheepish to ask (“Who wants to hear how I discovered Linda Blair?”). When he was informed that the theater needed him to wrap up, he was unfazed. “Why, what are they gonna play? Isn’t it too late to start a movie?”

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