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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars watch it again-you'll like it
Why do people keep expecting everything from Woody Allen to be "funny"? Like "Stardust Memories" or any number of his other movies, I would consider "Celebrity" more of a drama than a comedy. Yes, there are funny scenes, but there's more to it, I think. I didn't love the movie on first viewing, but I enjoy it more each time I see it. If...
Published on July 9, 2000

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fame -- It's the name of the game
Andy Warhol once intoned that we'd all be famous for 15 minutes. In Woody Allen's 1998 comedy "Celebrity," one of his characters cites that quotable quote. The unquenchable thirst for being applauded and lauded permeates this film. All of the denizens of this black-and-white NYC world gravitate toward photographers' flashbulbs, gossip column newsprint, and sound bites on...
Published on May 16, 2003 by Literary Lass


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars watch it again-you'll like it, July 9, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Celebrity (DVD)
Why do people keep expecting everything from Woody Allen to be "funny"? Like "Stardust Memories" or any number of his other movies, I would consider "Celebrity" more of a drama than a comedy. Yes, there are funny scenes, but there's more to it, I think. I didn't love the movie on first viewing, but I enjoy it more each time I see it. If you give it a chance and listen to what the director tells Melanie Griffith at the beginning about the "human condition", and how that relates to Kenneth Branagh (who I did NOT find annoying) at the end; and look deeper than Leonardo DiCaprio's small part, I think you'll find more than just jokes (or the absence thereof).
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why are people mad at this movie?, March 15, 2003
By 
BillyM (AZ, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Celebrity [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Kenneth Branagh is delightful in this film. Forget about Woody Allen for a moment and appreciate the performance (ask yourself if anyone could have done it better). I couldn't stop laughing! Every line of dialogue in this film is worth catching, Judy Davis is fantastic, and it's just a genuinely entertaining movie. The one star and two star ratings are ridiculous. Typical of arm-chair critics to blast a film when it doesn't fit the expected Allen mold. This is an excellent film, great dialogue, enjoyable plot.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kenneth as Woody., July 14, 2000
By 
phirefly (Mont Clare, PA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Celebrity [VHS] (VHS Tape)
While the movie itself was pretty uneventful and seemed to drag, the absolute magnificence of Kenneth Branagh's performance made it worth watching. I think what a couple of previous reviewers may have missed is that the male lead was written by Woody for Woody. He, thankfully, had the wisdom to know he would not be able to believably play that role--with Charlize and Winona falling all over him. So, he got someone else to play him for him. Kenneth does a remarkable Woody Allen. The argument in the park is a prime example. So to the reviewer who said that leading men in Woody Allen films should stop trying to be Woody, please realize that sometimes that is the whole intent, and realizing that can make the whole film richer.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If it wasn't Woody, you'd all love it, November 2, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Celebrity [VHS] (VHS Tape)
The expectations are higher when an artist like Woody Allen makes a movie. If some no-talent little jerk with dirty hair made this, you'd all be falling over each other to meet the next Great Young Director.
As it is, I will admit its not Woody's greatest effort, but it certainly is not as bad as most of you are making it out to be.
And I agree that Leonardo is great and he stands out - his scene is classic Woody. Winona Ryder and Famke Janssen and Charlize are gorgeous and its all good, as far as I am concerned.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It gets better every time, May 18, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Celebrity (DVD)
When I first saw CELEBRITY, I hated it just as much as most of my fellow reviewers. But, I'm a die hard Allen fan, so I saw it again. The film seemed different the second time, the message seemed more defined, but it wasn't like it had changed since the last time. The difference, I knew when it was going to end. The first time it seems to drag on and on . . and on. But the second time round, you are free to listen and absorb everything a lot easier. This is a great movie, with an excelent cast and some hilarious moments.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Woody's best, and most under appreciated films.., August 9, 2008
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This review is from: Celebrity (DVD)
"Celebrity" is one of Woody's best, and most under appreciated and also unjustly attacked films. The production is first rate, the characters diverse, and the acting -- from Kenneth Branagh, Judy Davis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Melanie Griffith, Joe Mantegna -- as good as in any Allen film. It is a wonderful and highly observant film, that seems to offend many for reasons that no one seems able to really express, other than by resorting to vituperative adjectives and hand wringing.

As far as I can tell, it offends some people because it is thought to be "more of the same" late "Manhattan" period Allen ensemble work -- pity Mozart if he had been cranking out symphonies for these complainers; it is thought to be annoying because Kenneth Branagh does what is, really, a wonderful Allen impression, Woody being too old by the time was made to play the lead in the story; because the characters are more fully developed, and so perhaps more subtle and less immediately amusing, versions of the classic Allen character types that, by the time the film was made, had become well known to audiences impatient for novelty and new amusements from Allen; because, perhaps, many solid middle American types have such an instinctive and deep seated hatred for the particular New York types that populate Allen films that this film evidently pushed the buttons of those audience members to extremes that mandated vicious opining in revenge; and, perhaps, last but not least, because Allen films tend to attract either comedy lovers who are put off by misanthropic elements, or misanthropes who are put off by overly human and flawed characters that don't live up to their notions of worthiness, or which make light of misanthropic virtues.

There's a reason Woody made Stardust Memories, also one of his finest films. The raging disappointment expressed by some toward his more challenging films, and to some of his more phoned in and forgettable ones, points to the creative conflict, and conflicted audience reactions, highlighted in Stardust Memories. All that aside, "Celebrity" is a marvelous film, that surely deserves a better DVD transfer than it receives here. Hopefully, when the entire Allen catalog is given a much needed 16:9 remastering someday, "Celebrity" will re-emerge and be appreciated by new audiences.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leo is great!, September 23, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Celebrity (DVD)
This movie does go on for abit long but it takes an interesting look at the downfalls of fame and fortune. The highlight of this movie is Leonardo DiCaprio's wondeful performance as a sex, and drug crazed movie star. It is unfair if not wrong to say that he is playing himself though. Anybody who has said that and does not even know what they are talking should think twice. It is very unfair to assume that. The acting is great by everyone who is in this movie. If you are a fan of the cinema and want to see an interesting film than I suggest this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Masterpiece for Allen, September 23, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Celebrity [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Celebrity is a great movie. It isn't quite as brilliant as Deconstructing Harry, but few movies are. Woody Allen is one of the best filmmakers living today. I will not say anything about the plot because it's best for the viewer to descover it for themselves. I will say that Rider and DeCaprio are great in it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If Branagh can play Hamlet then he can play Woody Allen, May 21, 2003
By 
This review is from: Celebrity (DVD)
Despite the title and the parade of characters who can be labeled as such, Woody Allen's 1998 film "Celebrity" is, like most of his films, about the peculiar ability of a man to destroy the important interpersonal relationships in his life. What makes "Celebrity" different is that this time around the Woody Allen part is not played by Allen, but by Kenneth Branagh. The actor, who has been nominated for an Oscar for playing Shakespeare on the silver screen, decides to play the Woody Allen character in "Celebrity" just like Woody Allen. Really. The dialogue is all written in Allen's distinctive voice, but instead of it being said by a small, wiry, balding Jewish comedian it is being said by a large, robust, wavy-haired Irish actor with the EXACT same cadences and inflections. Chances are that by the end of this film you still will not believe your ears on this one.
Now back to the film.
This time around the self-destructive main character is named Lee Simon (Branagh), a journalist and would be writer of a novel or screenplay if he can just get it done. Having cast aside his wife Robin (Judy Davis), Simon goes looking for love with most of the women who cross his path, from a movie star (Melanie Griffith) and a supermodel (a sizzling Charlize Theron) to an actress who plays bit parts (Wynona Ryder). Like Allen's script for this film, Lee's life is going around in circles. He cannot articulate to Robin the reason why he is leaving her any more than he can fully explain any of his actions as he moves from one woman to the next. As we are told at both the beginning and the end of the film, Lee Simon is a man who needs help. The punch line to the cosmic joke is that after Lee's departure plunges her into the depths of despair, Robin's life moves onward and upward because realizing there are gaps in her life she tries to fill them and improve herself, even if it means turning to the experience Nina (Bebe Neuwrith) for some interesting life lessons. By the end of the film she Robin is on top of her game and Lee is back where he started, and we realize this is something we have seen from Allen before and seen done better as well.
So, why did Allen simply not play himself? Because Woody Allen looks like Woody Allen. Today he looks more like an older Woody Allen (see "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion"). To put it bluntly, no supermodel is going to be interested in him. Thus we have the transposition of the Allen persona into the body of Branagh, who brings a manliness to the comic's neurotic mannerisms. When Branagh drives an antique Austin-Martin as a way of helping him pick up chicks, it sends a different signal than if it were Allen behind the wheel of that same car (besides, we know from "Annie Hall" that Woody can't drive). The choice of Branagh and his decision to play the part this way has a significance that extends beyond the idea that it is just some sort of a joke. There are two many sex scenes in this film for Allen to carried them off seriously. More importantly, if the nebbish that Allen has created over four decades of film can look like Branagh, then that is certainly something for us to think about.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of our Favorite Films, March 21, 2010
This review is from: Celebrity (DVD)
Celebrity is one of our favorite films of all time. It's composed of several short stories, often woven together, and hilariously funny, all rolled up into ONE. While certainly not for everyone, this movie is timeless with great acting by the cast, revealing behind-the-scenes similarities of a star's life.
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Celebrity [VHS]
Celebrity [VHS] by Woody Allen (VHS Tape - 1999)
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