Wonder Wheel

Wondering about Woody

In 1950s Coney Island, a lifeguard tells the story of a struggling carnival ride operator, his beleaguered former-actress wife, and his estranged gangster-moll daughter who shows up on the run for her life. Now, I’m a relatively forgiving fan of Woody Allen movies, but this stagey and sordid melodrama (vividly filmed by Vittorio Storaro) left me cold. Only one of the characters is remotely likable, and the acting, by Justin Timberlake, Juno Temple, and especially a scenery-chewing Jim Belushi, is unimpressive. That said, this is almost worth sitting through for Kate Winslet’s resonant performance. Almost. (101 min)