Woody Allen’s ‘problematic’ new film

The subject matter of the veteran director's upcoming Rainy Day in New York seems out of step with current concerns about exploitation of young women in the film industry


Woody Allen’s next film, A Rainy Day in New York, hasn’t finished shooting yet but significant concerns have already been raised about its subject matter.

According to Page Six, the film is a Lolita-type story about a middle-aged man who according to the script, “makes a fool of himself over every ambitious starlet and model.”

In one pivotal scene, lensed just as the Harvey Weinstein furore was reaching its peak, the male protagonist (played by Jude Law) is accused of having sex with a fifteen-year-old ‘concubine’ played by Elle Fanning.

Jude Law is currently 44 and Fanning just 19.

Since Allen made Manhattan in 1979, critics have noticed a trend of his casting middle-aged romantic leads becoming involved with much younger women. In last year’s Café Society, for example, Steve Carell (53) stars as a Hollywood agent who has an affair with his secretary Kristen Stewart (26).

Allen said last week that the Harvey Weinstein affair was giving rise to a “witch-hunt atmosphere” in Hollywood, where “every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself.”

The Weinstein scandal first came to light after an investigation by the New York Times but was pushed further onto the world stage by a New Yorker feature written by Allen's son Ronan Farrow.

A Rainy Day in New York — written and directed by Allen — will feature Selena Gomez, Liev Schreiber, Suki Waterhouse and Kelly Rohrbach alongside Fanning and Law. It is set for release some time in 2018.

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