Shadows and Fog (1991)

Woody Allen’s valentine to 1930s genre cinema like “M” and Universal monster movies is extraordinarily well-shot, with its intricate and lovingly recreated sets, but there’s just something missing and the movie never comes together in a cohesive whole. Perhaps it’s Allen himself, who provides more of the same nebishy, nervous energy, and it’s really take-it-or-leave-it. The supporting cast does its best with the strange material, which includes a traveling circus and a local whorehouse, but it’s all just very peculiar and, well, pointless. The movie has a few funny lines here and there (Julie Kavner’s appearance is filled with them), but the movie’s tone is at odds with its humor, and the climax is groan-inducingly stupid.

Rating: ★★ (out of 5)

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