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All things considered, it’s a relief to learn that Allen’s next production will be set in New York and San Francisco, as he would seem to have played out his string in Europe for the moment. Although the character he portrays here is a reluctantly retired opera director who discovers a brilliant tenor, Allen the writer-director has gone tone-deaf this time around, somehow not realizing that the nonstop prattling of the less-than-scintillating characters almost never rings true.

Although they are intercut, the four separate story strands never interconnect — one’s expectations that a big, Fellini-esque climactic gathering might be in the offing prove unfounded. But it’s astounding that a writer as skilled as Allen doesn’t even bother to respect the unity of time; one couple’s story seems confined to a single day, while others appear to spin out across many weeks or longer.

The fact that Allen, acting in his first film since Scoop in 2006, plays an opera director is not entirely far-fetched, in that Allen himself staged Puccini’s one-act Gianni Schicchi at the Los Angeles Opera four years ago — and quite well, thank you very much. However, his character of Jerry is the classic Allen kvetch, who arrives in Rome with his wife, Phyllis (Judy Davis), to meet the prospective husband of daughter Hayley (Alison Pill) but can only complain about commies, unions and airplane turbulence.All things considered, it’s a relief to learn that Allen’s next production will be set in New York and San Francisco, as he would seem to have played out his string in Europe for the moment. Although the character he portrays here is a reluctantly retired opera director who discovers a brilliant tenor, Allen the writer-director has gone tone-deaf this time around, somehow not realizing that the nonstop prattling of the less-than-scintillating characters almost never rings true.

Although they are intercut, the four separate story strands never interconnect — one’s expectations that a big, Fellini-esque climactic gathering might be in the offing prove unfounded. But it’s astounding that a writer as skilled as Allen doesn’t even bother to respect the unity of time; one couple’s story seems confined to a single day, while others appear to spin out across many weeks or longer.

The fact that Allen, acting in his first film since Scoop in 2006, plays an opera director is not entirely far-fetched, in that Allen himself staged Puccini’s one-act Gianni Schicchi at the Los Angeles Opera four years ago — and quite well, thank you very much. However, his character of Jerry is the classic Allen kvetch, who arrives in Rome with his wife, Phyllis (Judy Davis), to meet the prospective husband of daughter Hayley (Alison Pill) but can only complain about commies, unions and airplane turbulence.All things considered, it’s a relief to learn that Allen’s next production will be set in New York and San Francisco, as he would seem to have played out his string in Europe for the moment. Although the character he portrays here is a reluctantly retired opera director who discovers a brilliant tenor, Allen the writer-director has gone tone-deaf this time around, somehow not realizing that the nonstop prattling of the less-than-scintillating characters almost never rings true.

Although they are intercut, the four separate story strands never interconnect — one’s expectations that a big, Fellini-esque climactic gathering might be in the offing prove unfounded. But it’s astounding that a writer as skilled as Allen doesn’t even bother to respect the unity of time; one couple’s story seems confined to a single day, while others appear to spin out across many weeks or longer.

The fact that Allen, acting in his first film since Scoop in 2006, plays an opera director is not entirely far-fetched, in that Allen himself staged Puccini’s one-act Gianni Schicchi at the Los Angeles Opera four years ago — and quite well, thank you very much. However, his character of Jerry is the classic Allen kvetch, who arrives in Rome with his wife, Phyllis (Judy Davis), to meet the prospective husband of daughter Hayley (Alison Pill) but can only complain about commies, unions and airplane turbulence.All things considered, it’s a relief to learn that Allen’s next production will be set in New York and San Francisco, as he would seem to have played out his string in Europe for the moment. Although the character he portrays here is a reluctantly retired opera director who discovers a brilliant tenor, Allen the writer-director has gone tone-deaf this time around, somehow not realizing that the nonstop prattling of the less-than-scintillating characters almost never rings true.

Although they are intercut, the four separate story strands never interconnect — one’s expectations that a big, Fellini-esque climactic gathering might be in the offing prove unfounded. But it’s astounding that a writer as skilled as Allen doesn’t even bother to respect the unity of time; one couple’s story seems confined to a single day, while others appear to spin out across many weeks or longer.

The fact that Allen, acting in his first film since Scoop in 2006, plays an opera director is not entirely far-fetched, in that Allen himself staged Puccini’s one-act Gianni Schicchi at the Los Angeles Opera four years ago — and quite well, thank you very much. However, his character of Jerry is the classic Allen kvetch, who arrives in Rome with his wife, Phyllis (Judy Davis), to meet the prospective husband of daughter Hayley (Alison Pill) but can only complain about commies, unions and airplane turbulence.All things considered, it’s a relief to learn that Allen’s next production will be set in New York and San Francisco, as he would seem to have played out his string in Europe for the moment. Although the character he portrays here is a reluctantly retired opera director who discovers a brilliant tenor, Allen the writer-director has gone tone-deaf this time around, somehow not realizing that the nonstop prattling of the less-than-scintillating characters almost never rings true.

Although they are intercut, the four separate story strands never interconnect — one’s expectations that a big, Fellini-esque climactic gathering might be in the offing prove unfounded. But it’s astounding that a writer as skilled as Allen doesn’t even bother to respect the unity of time; one couple’s story seems confined to a single day, while others appear to spin out across many weeks or longer.

The fact that Allen, acting in his first film since Scoop in 2006, plays an opera director is not entirely far-fetched, in that Allen himself staged Puccini’s one-act Gianni Schicchi at the Los Angeles Opera four years ago — and quite well, thank you very much. However, his character of Jerry is the classic Allen kvetch, who arrives in Rome with his wife, Phyllis (Judy Davis), to meet the prospective husband of daughter Hayley (Alison Pill) but can only complain about commies, unions and airplane turbulence.All things considered, it’s a relief to learn that Allen’s next production will be set in New York and San Francisco, as he would seem to have played out his string in Europe for the moment. Although the character he portrays here is a reluctantly retired opera director who discovers a brilliant tenor, Allen the writer-director has gone tone-deaf this time around, somehow not realizing that the nonstop prattling of the less-than-scintillating characters almost never rings true.

Although they are intercut, the four separate story strands never interconnect — one’s expectations that a big, Fellini-esque climactic gathering might be in the offing prove unfounded. But it’s astounding that a writer as skilled as Allen doesn’t even bother to respect the unity of time; one couple’s story seems confined to a single day, while others appear to spin out across many weeks or longer.

The fact that Allen, acting in his first film since Scoop in 2006, plays an opera director is not entirely far-fetched, in that Allen himself staged Puccini’s one-act Gianni Schicchi at the Los Angeles Opera four years ago — and quite well, thank you very much. However, his character of Jerry is the classic Allen kvetch, who arrives in Rome with his wife, Phyllis (Judy Davis), to meet the prospective husband of daughter Hayley (Alison Pill) but can only complain about commies, unions and airplane turbulence.All things considered, it’s a relief to learn that Allen’s next production will be set in New York and San Francisco, as he would seem to have played out his string in Europe for the moment. Although the character he portrays here is a reluctantly retired opera director who discovers a brilliant tenor, Allen the writer-director has gone tone-deaf this time around, somehow not realizing that the nonstop prattling of the less-than-scintillating characters almost never rings true.

Although they are intercut, the four separate story strands never interconnect — one’s expectations that a big, Fellini-esque climactic gathering might be in the offing prove unfounded. But it’s astounding that a writer as skilled as Allen doesn’t even bother to respect the unity of time; one couple’s story seems confined to a single day, while others appear to spin out across many weeks or longer.

The fact that Allen, acting in his first film since Scoop in 2006, plays an opera director is not entirely far-fetched, in that Allen himself staged Puccini’s one-act Gianni Schicchi at the Los Angeles Opera four years ago — and quite well, thank you very much. However, his character of Jerry is the classic Allen kvetch, who arrives in Rome with his wife, Phyllis (Judy Davis), to meet the prospective husband of daughter Hayley (Alison Pill) but can only complain about commies, unions and airplane turbulence.All things considered, it’s a relief to learn that Allen’s next production will be set in New York and San Francisco, as he would seem to have played out his string in Europe for the moment. Although the character he portrays here is a reluctantly retired opera director who discovers a brilliant tenor, Allen the writer-director has gone tone-deaf this time around, somehow not realizing that the nonstop prattling of the less-than-scintillating characters almost never rings true.

Although they are intercut, the four separate story strands never interconnect — one’s expectations that a big, Fellini-esque climactic gathering might be in the offing prove unfounded. But it’s astounding that a writer as skilled as Allen doesn’t even bother to respect the unity of time; one couple’s story seems confined to a single day, while others appear to spin out across many weeks or longer.

The fact that Allen, acting in his first film since Scoop in 2006, plays an opera director is not entirely far-fetched, in that Allen himself staged Puccini’s one-act Gianni Schicchi at the Los Angeles Opera four years ago — and quite well, thank you very much. However, his character of Jerry is the classic Allen kvetch, who arrives in Rome with his wife, Phyllis (Judy Davis), to meet the prospective husband of daughter Hayley (Alison Pill) but can only complain about commies, unions and airplane turbulence.All things considered, it’s a relief to learn that Allen’s next production will be set in New York and San Francisco, as he would seem to have played out his string in Europe for the moment. Although the character he portrays here is a reluctantly retired opera director who discovers a brilliant tenor, Allen the writer-director has gone tone-deaf this time around, somehow not realizing that the nonstop prattling of the less-than-scintillating characters almost never rings true.

Although they are intercut, the four separate story strands never interconnect — one’s expectations that a big, Fellini-esque climactic gathering might be in the offing prove unfounded. But it’s astounding that a writer as skilled as Allen doesn’t even bother to respect the unity of time; one couple’s story seems confined to a single day, while others appear to spin out across many weeks or longer.

The fact that Allen, acting in his first film since Scoop in 2006, plays an opera director is not entirely far-fetched, in that Allen himself staged Puccini’s one-act Gianni Schicchi at the Los Angeles Opera four years ago — and quite well, thank you very much. However, his character of Jerry is the classic Allen kvetch, who arrives in Rome with his wife, Phyllis (Judy Davis), to meet the prospective husband of daughter Hayley (Alison Pill) but can only complain about commies, unions and airplane turbulence.