Rainy Day in New York, A

Director: Woody Allen
Year Released: 2019
Rating: 3.0

College-aged couple Gatsby (Timothée Chalamet) and Ashleigh (Elle Fanning) leave their school's cozy campus to spend a weekend in NYC so Ashleigh can interview a famous filmmaker (Liev Schreiber), but the city yanks them apart: Gatsby hangs out with the sister of an ex-girlfriend (Selena Gomez) while Ashleigh sees a producer's marriage fall apart and almost has sex with a movie star (Diego Luna).  I understand the current cultural climate is on edge, which is a shame, because these late-period movies Mr. Allen has been making are absolutely wonderful and nostalgic and unfortunately ignored by the general populace because of events that may or may not have taken place in his life years prior (I won't repeat the accusations since he was never actually charged with any crime).  Gatsby keeps bringing up old movies because the same spirit of those films is alive and well here - Woody's infatuation with the city he's identified with is unflagging - and it moves confidently (and charmingly) forward: near the end, there's a strong speech by Gatsby's mother (Cherry Jones) that adds the right amount of texture to her son's rebellious streak (defiance is inherited, it seems).  Fanning fits in perfectly with the long list of ditzy but strident heroines the auteur has written over all these decades: she may not be able to identify lyrics from a Cole Porter song, but she'll survive.