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Wonder Wheel - Film Review

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by Karina Bryer (subscribe)
I'm a mother of four with two coeliac children. I'm always on the lookout for great gluten-free spots around Brisbane and feature gluten-free cooking in my blog: I'm also a muso and enjoy live music around town.
Published December 6th 2017
Tragic characters presented in brilliant cinematography
Wonder Wheel
Wonder Wheel opens 7 December
All images from official websit

Woody Allen is known for his quirky sense of humor in movies, and his latest offering Wonder Wheel is no exception. This melodrama, which would be easy to give a rating of B grade, I think could easily be misunderstood by audiences and should be viewed with an open mind and the director's intentions at the forefront of their thinking.

Set in Coney Island in the late 1950's, the tale of carousel operator Humpty (Jim Belushi), his wife and former actress Ginny (Kate Winslet) and Humpty's estranged daughter Carolina (Juno Temple), is told by want-to-be playwright and handsome young lifeguard, Mickey (Justin Timberlake). The dialogue and acting have the feel of a high school production, with the emotions overly dramatic, but I think this is indicative of the character Mickey's youth as a playwright. His opening statement speaks of melodrama, which is brought to life by the characters in his own tragic tale. The cast work hard to do a good job of over-acting, as the plot demands.

Justin Timberlake Wonder Wheel
Justin Timberlake shines as the glowing with youth and hopelessly romantic lifeguard.

Kate Winslet is wonderful as a dispirited waitress and former actress. As she yearns for her former life and bemoans her Current existence, she is tempted by the bronzed, and dramatically romantic lifeguard played by Justin Timberlake. The appearance of her husband's clueless and beautiful daughter throws a spanner in the works and leads to further complications. Jim Belushi is tragically beholden to his once-estranged daughter and totally indifferent to his wife's needs.

Kate Winslet Wonder Wheel
Kate Winslet is wonderfully tragic as her character in the throws of a mid-life crisis.

The cinematography by Vittorio Storaro presents the 1950's in their vintage tinge and captures the feel of the carnival atmosphere of Coney Island beautifully. I think that if audiences watch the movie with these aspects in mind they will discover a tragic story with believable characters brought to life in a melodrama worthy of a viewing.

Kate Winslet Wonder Wheel
The 1950's magically recreated by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro.

Wonder Wheel is showing in most major cinemas starting on December 7. See more at or watch the trailer below.

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Why? Sometimes quirky gets to the truth quicker
Where: A cinema near you
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