The first trailer for Woody Allen's Wonder Wheel, which will close out the NYFF later this month and hit theaters in December, has just been released.
The movie brings us back to 1950s Coney Island, where four central characters find themselves entangled in each others'—and some gansters'—lives. Here's the breakdown of where we find them in life:
Ginny (Kate Winslet), an emotionally volatile former actress now working as a waitress in a clam house; Humpty (Jim Belushi), Ginny’s rough-hewn carousel operator husband; Mickey (Justin Timberlake), a handsome young lifeguard who dreams of becoming a playwright; and Carolina (Juno Temple), Humpty’s long-estranged daughter, who is now hiding out from gangsters at her father’s apartment.
Winslet has said she found the role challenging: "There was not one single moment that I was not utterly terrified. It’s an incredibly complicated character—maybe the most complicated female character I’ve ever had the challenge of grappling with."
The other big star of the film is Coney Island itself, and cinematographer Vittorio Storaro perfectly captures the vibrant area in all its mid-century charm. Check it out:
Allen grew up in the area, and recently noted that he "always wanted to do a dramatic story against an amusement park’s backdrop. 1950 was great with all those rides."
Some of those rides (which he last shot in 1977's Annie Hall) were recreated in post-production—"I couldn’t do that before for any reasonable money, but with special effects it’s now not a prohibitive cost." Though he had a tougher time with the updated boardwalk—"Live portions were difficult because under boardwalk sections — which are now removed — is where people used to make love, so I had to intercut other places to stick into the movie."
When asked about the sexual abuse allegations against Woody Allen, Winslet told the NY Times, "Of course one thinks about it. But at the same time, I didn’t know Woody and I don’t know anything about that family. As the actor in the film, you just have to step away and say, I don’t know anything, really, and whether any of it is true or false. Having thought it all through, you put it to one side and just work with the person. Woody Allen is an incredible director. So is Roman Polanski. I had an extraordinary working experience with both of those men, and that’s the truth."
Wonder Wheel hits theaters on December 1st.