The early reviews for Woody Allen's unreleased Amazon movie are not looking good

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Timothee Chalamet in A Rainy Day In New York (Credit: Amazon)

While Woody Allen remains locked in a £52 million lawsuit with Amazon Studios over the future of his multiple picture deal, reviews of his latest film, A Rainy Day In New York, appear to be trickling in.

Hollywood industry bibles Variety and The Hollywood Reporter both published reviews of the movie yesterday, but neither are complimentary.

The movie stars Call Me By Your Name actor Timothee Chalamet as a college student rebelling against his wealthy upbringing.

However, Chalamet later disavowed his performance, donating his fee to charity, as did his co-stars Selena Gomez, Griffin Newman and Rebecca Hall.

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“Is the film actually any good? The answer is: Not really,” writes Jordan Mintzer in THR.

“Like cigarettes, margarine or the Atkins diet, Woody Allen movies are something that used to be considered good for you and are now more or less deemed a health hazard.”

“Sadness is manifested here via nostalgia,” he goes on, “both for a New York that no longer exists — and probably only ever existed for millionaires — and for a culture where the encounters between men and the young women they prey on are still played for laughs.

“Whether Allen’s movies will ever move beyond that sentiment can only be asked after a more crucial question, which is: Will people continue to watch them?”

Selena Gomez, Timothee Chalamet and Woody Allen on the movie's set (Credit: Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)

Variety's Jessica Kiang noted off-colour sex jokes which now land rather badly, other jokes which fail to land at all, and a lack of character development.

“It’s mercilessly clear just how far Allen’s sensibilities are, not only from the millennial generation he’s ostensibly describing but also from the women of his own back catalogue (some of the most indelible, wonderful, idiosyncratic female characters in the American canon) and almost as depressingly, from the intensely romantic vision he always used to communicate of his other great muse, Manhattan.

“It’s A Rainy Day in New York indeed, but it doesn’t just rain, it pours.”

Read more: Woody Allen files £52m lawsuit against Amazon

Worse still, the South China Morning Post branded it 'excruciatingly stilted and phoney'.

A previous review from Little White Lies in July this year was more complimentary, however, critic Matthew Thrift calling it 'a funny, amiable riff on The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye.

Allen wrapped on the movie back in 2017, but in the wake of the reiterated allegations of the sexual abuse of his daughter Dylan Farrow in 1992, which re-emerged in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal – allegations Allen has long denied – Amazon abruptly shelved plans to release it.

The 83-year-old director has now sued the streaming studio for going back their four-movie contract, over what Allen's legal team call 'a 25-year old, baseless allegation'.

While the film - which also stars Jude Law, Elle Fanning, Diego Luna and Liev Schreiber - is unlikely to receive a release in the US (or perhaps the UK), it's set to premiere at the Deauville Film Festival in September, with a theatrical release in France later next month.