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Celebrity

 (118)
1 h 53 min199916+
This critically-acclaimed contemporary comedy by Woody Allen is rich, dazzling and dripping with celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio, Winona Ryder and Famke Janssen. We delve into the highs and lows of celebrity culture through the eyes of a divorced couple as they become unpredictably entangled in the glamorous lives of the rich and famous. This riotous quest for love and fame is unmissable!
Directors
Woody Allen
Starring
Leonardo DiCaprioWinona RyderFamke Janssen
Genres
ComedyDrama
Subtitles
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More details

Supporting actors
Charlize Theron
Producers
Jean Doumanian
Studio
Signature Entertainment
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

118 global ratings

  1. 58% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 20% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 10% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 5% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 7% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

the countessReviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 December 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Lots of inside jokes .can't help but think DiCaprio's character is based on Jonny Depp rumours
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Lot's of inside jokes ,all based around rumours I had heard myself at Elaine's.Can't help but think DiCaprio's character based on rumours about Jonny Depp from way back in the 90's ..interesting watching that scene and comparing with Amber Heard's statements in retrospect ,the scene is close to identical .Of course Elaine's no longer exists .. she died..and that particular kind of New York society thinned out ,and was replaced by something seedier. dumber and even more facile .I found Kenneth Branagh's Woody Allen impression as the hero very well acted but ultimately extremely grating Why not just get Woody to play the character ? .Although his behaviour is very typical of a certain kind of male Manhattanite and his fate was very believable .Some fantastic actors ,Judy Davis is incredible as always ..I've never seen her give a bad performance ..lots of great cameos ,Charlize Theron never more radiantly dazzling ,I liked the speed and the drifting floating in and out of characters that gave the impression of the floating ,shallow , dizzying ,unrooted atmosphere of that social whirl .Many echos of La Dolce Vita in this funny, sorrowful film .A stern funny insightful warning about the upcoming Golden Age of Stupid we are living in now. A film that deserved much better reviews than it garnered at the time
5 people found this helpful
PhiloctetesReviewed in the United Kingdom on 05 May 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
It could have been a contender, instead of a bomb
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Celebrity (1998) is to Woody Allen what Prêt-à-Porter (1994) was to Robert Altman. A complete mess of a film.

Promoting this film on Parkinson, Allen was very amusing about the cult of celebrity that had taken the USA hostage, and who wouldn't have predicted a fine satire on the vacuity of the publicity machine? Alas. And alas again. It wasn't to be; at least, not until later.

If you do give it a go, be warned, the DVD blurb on the box gives the movie's outcome away. So you're basically waiting for the execution over 100mins, theirs and yours. Like Altman's film, Celebrity is awash with famous names, glitzy talent, and they're all wasted and it comes to nothing. A similar problem, albeit on a smaller scale, affected Woody's later British-led movie, You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger. Come to think of it, both movies use fortune tellers to empty effect.

Branagh in the role of Lee Simon has divorced his wife, Robin (Judy Davis), and is seeking fulfilment as a celebrity news hack and wannabe scriptwriter. We see the dramatic moment when he tells Robin that he wants out...15mins into the movie. At last! It's starting. The bits with Melanie Griffith and Charlize Theron are utter tripe. There's a scene with Winona Ryder at the start, and then she vanishes until the final act, so to speak, and a promising, or at least romantic, storyline is misdirected, and wasted. And where's the satire, really?

Judy Davis' character is a neurotic nuisance, inexplicably attractive to a game Joe Mantegna. She's whatever she was in Husbands & Wives (1992) multiplied by her role in The Ref (1994), and a potentially funny scene in which Bebe Neuwirth teaches her how to fellate a banana is, again, a clunker. As for the ever youthful Leonardo dicaprio, much less famous then, he comes on all guns blazing, a proto-Justin Bieber, but the combo of his fk-boi cool and Branagh's jabbering Woody-substitute, is just too annoying.

You have to wonder, why would Hollywood actors want to even do a movie satirizing the very stuff that was their goal in the first place: glamour? Wouldn't a stage play, populated by genuine snooty thesps, or even a novel, or a radio play, any other medium, have worked better?

It's a missed opportunity. It makes you want to run screaming back to Annie Hall (1977), or to Stardust Memories (1980), or even run forward to the greatly underrated To Rome With Love (2012). Maybe the upcoming millennium threw Woody, maybe everybody, off balance, somehow. Celebrity begins and ends with a cry for HELP, courtesy of a skywriter. Perhaps Woody was trying to tell us something?

Whatever the explanation, Celebrity marks the beginning of the fallow years (almost wrote Farrow, haha), the niche charm of Sweet & Lowdown and sporadic chuckles of Small Time Crooks aside. He didn't begin to recover until Melinda & Melinda (2004), and after that we had Match Point (2005), and a hat trick of Oscar successes. Ultimately he can be excused a couple of duds, this being one of them.
The Fretwell ReviewReviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 September 2018
3.0 out of 5 stars
Celebrity: An insider's perspective of celebrity culture of the time.
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Kenneth Branagh plays the role somewhat disappoingly given his skill as an actor. He is effectively a vessel for the innermost musings of Woody Allen, who all things considered, should've probably played the character himself. In this sense it isn't entirely Kenneth's fault.
The film is a tragic one, where a failing writer novelist and celebrity journalist fails to gain traction in his career due to his crippling insecurities, neurosis and his many affairs with models and actresses. It evokes Fellini, but falls empty, much like the characters portrayed in the film.
His ex-wife however, gains a great job and a supporting new partner and heads up the opposite way in life to him.
Spoiler: it ends where it started. But who watched Woody allen films for the plot. They are supposed to be profound, mildly amusing and a bit sad. This film only delivers on the latter. It certainly isn't Woody's best. I recommend Blue Jasmine, Manhattan or Bullets over Broadway.

Overall
2 people found this helpful
Sebastian PalmerReviewed in the United Kingdom on 05 May 2016
4.0 out of 5 stars
Disappearing Woody: the start of Allen's all-star ensemble cast period. Ok, but not his best.
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Celebrity occupies a period in Woody Allen's filmography where he's disappearing from in front of the camera. He would still occasionally star, in films like 'Curse of the Jade Scorpion' or 'Small Time Crooks', but from here on in, ensembles of name stars eager to get a Woody under their belt, so to speak, with the clear Woody-role given to a younger man - in this case Kenneth Branagh - were destined to become the new norm.

Attractively shot in black and white, it fails, however, to attain the humour, art or emotion of other monochrome Allen movies (from Stardust Memories to Manhattan, or Broadway Danny Rose to Shadows and Fog). And despite the many heavyweight actors and actresses, and the slightly dark edge to its aimless slice-of-life-ness (another more frequent Allen trope from this point on), it feels kind of light. Woody-lite, perhaps?

It's certainly not bad, but it's certainly not Woody at his best either. As Woody has spent an ever longer proportion of his professional adult life as a great success, so his films about rich folks goofing around have also become more of a norm.

This can sometimes mean the central characters - both Branagh's and DiCaprio's in this film - aren't that attractive or easy to sympathise with. As a friend of mine said, after watching this, Branagh does quite a convincing Allen. But for all his aping of the Allenesque, he isn't Allen. And had Allen played the role, I suspect he'd have been easier to identify with and sympathise with.

But, as he's said oftentimes himself, Allen wants to continue writing boy meets/gets girl stuff, and feels he's not right for the romantic lead roles any more. (Don't older people experience life/love? Are their experiences any less valid/interesting?).

Sometimes this leaves Allen's later behind-the-camera-only movies feeling distinctly odd. Mis-cast, perhaps? I feel this especially true where the leads are essentially kids ('Anything Else' springs to mind).

If you're new to Woody, don't start here. If you know and love him, it's worth seeing. Within Allen's own oeuvre I'd say this is a two or three star film. But in the context of modern mainstream cinema it's still better than most, hence four stars.
3 people found this helpful
Team ChurrosReviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 March 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
Utter misogynistic nonsense
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Could only watch until the first ten minutes. Utter misogynistic nonsense with Kenneth Branagh playing Woody Allen type character....completely awful.
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United Kingdom on 01 November 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
A classic
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A timeless classic, with fantastic cast.
One person found this helpful
Emma P.Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 October 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Interesting narrative hindered by incoherent plot
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The movie tackles some interesting themes but the overall narrative is held back by messy structure and incoherent plot devices. While the movie explore some interesting themes, the excellent dialogue and realistic character development is where once again Allen truly shines. Not his best work, but an interesting and captivating film nonetheless.
E MReviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 March 2015
4.0 out of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this film
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I really enjoyed this film, having somehow missed it before now - it's actually very funny, and Kenneth Branagh is terrific. He plays the central character, a Woody Allenesque, fairly unsuccessful writer who meets a few very successful celebrities in a kind of tangential way. The one-liners come thick and fast, so you have to listen carefully.
One person found this helpful
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