Dylan Farrow: The hypocrisy behind Hollywood's continued acceptance of Woody Allen

Movie Review – Wonder Wheel (2017)

Ups and Downs with Woody Allen's Wonder Wheel

Woody Allen's "Wonder Wheel" is told from the point of view of a male character who is romantically involved simultaneously with both a woman and her stepdaughter. When she won an Oscar for the Weinstein-produced The Reader in 2009, she deliberately refused to thank him when accepting her award.

Ultimately, what makes Wonder Wheel work is Woody Allen's ability to make viewers empathize with deeply flawed characters who don't always do the right thing.

In "Wonder Wheel", the Allen doppelganger played by Justin Timberlake is Mickey, an aspiring playwright who romances Ginny (Kate Winslet), a married woman.

"I think on some level Woody is a woman", Winslet joked of Allen's continuous creation of memorable female roles. It doesn't help that Winslet's performance is terrible (Timberlake's is even worse), and while no one's given much to work with, the whole cast just goes along with whatever Allen's doing here.

Hollywood is in the middle of the movement, and while it continues to topple powerful men, at least one has thus far proved immune: Woody Allen.

Winslet received a lot of backlash on social media for defending her decision to work with Allen on "Wonder Wheel" in an interview with The New York Times (specifically the quote used by Farrow in her op-ed).

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With such deadly lines as "Oh, God, spare me the bad drama!" and "As in Greek drama, ananke, or fate, rules so much of our destinies", Allen seems to be aiming for some kind of meta-fiction, but to what end is never clear.

Farrow has repeatedly said that, when she was 7 years old, Allen sexually assaulted her. She figures her husband's cronies won't look for her at Humpty's because they know she hasn't talked to her father in five years. I'm an actor; he's a director. (The director was never formally charged with a crime, and has consistently denied the allegations.) Since then, Dylan has been a writer and advocate for sexual assault survivors, and she has spoken out tirelessly about Allen having allegedly sexually abused her on numerous occasions, which lead to a massive rift in their family and the Hollywood community as a whole. I've heard and read exactly what you've heard and read. That's all I can say.

Winslet was asked about those allegations by the Los Angeles Times last month but was skittish with her answer.

She had accused Allen of sexual assault when she was just seven years old in the midst of her mother Mia Farrow's split from the filmmaker. It's important that there is an uprising. I don't know his family. "You know, it's all very hard to talk about...." she said. In a November interview with Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air, Gerwig said in response to a question about Allen: "I think I'm living in that space of fear of being anxious about how I talk about it and what I say". Mickey begins to question their affair when he starts to develop feelings for Ginny's step-daughter, Carolina (Juno Temple), a woman on the run from her gangster husband who returns to her father in hopes of safety and protection.

"It isn't just power that allows men accused of sexual abuse to keep their careers and their secrets", she writes. "It is also our collective choice to see simple situations as complicated and obvious conclusions as a matter of 'who can say?'" Farrow concluded. The movie is categorically uninterested in any type of introspection or exploration; it hoists up trite character types and then lets them limply dangle, a tactic that might work if Allen spiced it up with any of his trademark one-liners. 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.

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