A rainy day in New York by Woody Allen on Rai 3

Cast and characters

Timothée Chalamet: Gatsby Welles
Elle FanningAshleigh Enright
Selena GomezChan Tyrell
Rebecca HallConnie Davidoff
Cherry Jones: Mrs. Welles
Jude LawTed Davidoff
Diego LunaFrancisco Vega
Liev Schreiber: Roland Pollard
Kelly RohrbachTerry Ford
Will RogersHunter Welles
Suki WaterhouseTiffany

Italian dubbers

Alex Polidori as Gatsby Welles
Emanuela IonicaAshleigh Enright
Erica NecciChan Tyrell
Ludovica Modugno: Mrs. Welles
Claudia CataniConnie Davidoff
Riccardo Niseem Onorato: Ted Davidoff
Jacopo Venturiero: Francisco Vega
Pino Insegno: Roland Pollard
Joy SaltarelliTerry
Edoardo Stoppacciaro as Hunter Welles
Chiara Gioncardi: Tiffany

The plot

Woody Allen returns to Manhattan with A rainy day in New York, a romantic comedy that tells the story of two college sweethearts, Gatsby (Timothée Chalamet) and Ashleigh (Elle Fanning), whose plans for a romantic weekend together in New York City go up in flames as soon as they set foot in the city. Since their arrival in New York, the two find themselves separated and come across a series of chance encounters and bizarre adventures, each on their own.

Curiosity

  • The romantic comedy was originally slated for a 2018 release, but was shelved by Amazon after allegations of sexual harassment against the director. Just to add controversy to controversy, a passage in the plot of the film tells of a relationship between a sixteen year old (Elle Fanning) and a mature man (Jude Law), an episode that could have recalled the accusations leveled against the director, at this point Amazon has made the decision to terminate the four-film contract with Allen. In contrast, Allen is suing Amazon for $68 million, as all charges against him have been dismissed by the authorities.
  • With this film “shelved” due to controversy and not released as originally planned, 2018 marks the first time since 1981 that Woody Allen has not had a feature film in theaters. Indeed, since his directorial debut in Take the Money and Run (1969), Allen has written and directed a feature film in every single year since with the exception of 1970, 1974, 1976, 1981 and now 2018. last 50 years, there have only been 5 years in total that the world hasn’t seen a Woody Allen movie released in theatres.
  • At the end of the film Gatsby quotes two sentences: “The roaring traffic’s boom. Silence in my lonely room”. Ashleigh says she knows them and they are from Shakespeare. In fact it’s from the song “Night and Day” by Cole Porter.
  • The film benefits from the photography of Vittorio Storaro, Oscar winner for Apocalypse Now, Reds And The last emperorand received a fourth nomination for Dick Tracy. “A Rainy Day in New York” is his third collaboration with Woody Allen after The Wonder Wheel And Café Society.
  • Timothée Chalamet’s maternal grandfather, Harold Flender, wrote for Sid Caesar in the 1950s, together with Woody Allen. When Allen later cast Timothée in the film, he was initially unaware of the familial relationship.
  • Woody Allen states in his memoirs “About Nothing” (2020) that the real reason Timothée Chalamet donated his salary from the film was that “he needed to because he was in the running for an Oscar for Call Me by Your Name, and he and his agent felt they had a better chance of winning if he opted out of me.”
  • This is Woody Allen’s 48th feature film as a director, which includes his own television film Don’t Drink the Water (1994).
  • Timothée Chalamet announced on Instagram that he will donate his entire salary from his work on this film to charities: the LGBT Center of New York, Time’s Up and RAINN, an organization against sexual violence.
  • Well known for making films in New York and having been associated with the city, apart from ‘New York Stories’ (1989) where he directed the segment ‘Oedipus Shipwreck’, and the TV movie ‘The Concert for New York City (2001), where he also directed a segment, surprisingly, this is the very first feature film directed by Woody Allen with the words “New York” featured in the title. However, Woody Allen has made a number of movies with parts of New York in the title. These are: “Manhattan” (1979), “Bullets Over Broadway” (1994), “Manhattan Murder Mystery” (1993), and “Broadway Danny Rose” (1983) – with “Manhattan” and “Broadway” used twice in Woody Allen feature film titles.
  • With Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), this is the second time Rebecca Hall stars in a film written and directed by Woody Allen.
  • Rebecca Hall donated her entire salary from this film to the Time’s Up movement after she reconsidered sexual assault allegations against the director in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
  • As is sometimes the case in recent years, the central character (in this case Gatsby) narrates the film in deliberate imitation of Woody Allen’s signature cadence.
  • The film marks the debut of Catherine LeFrere.
  • There are two actors with the same names as the classic (and long dead) actors: Will Rogers and Rory Calhoun.
  • Gatsby’s cell phone could not connect to the outside world from inside the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with its five-foot-thick stone walls.

Production notes

To underline the fact that the film’s protagonists have difficulty being recognized for who they are, visually their faces are often obscured, in shadow. An example is when the car window at the filming location shows a reflection of what is outside, rather than Gatsby and Chan sitting inside the car. “In cinema, you don’t have to show everything clearly, all the time,” says cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, who has already collaborated with Allen on Café Society and Wonder Wheel. “Most of the time it can be more effective for characters to be behind something, or only partially visible. You have to create different moments in order to keep the public’s attention high”. Storaro used different lighting and different camera movements to emphasize the differences in the personalities of Gatsby and Ashleigh. “Gatsby loves New York with overcast skies or, even better, with a little rain,” says Storaro. “Ashleigh is playful and passionate, so I used warmer colors with her.” Even when Gatsby and Ashleigh are together, Storaro has found variations. “He It doesn’t rain all day in the same way,” he says. “Sometimes the wind moves the clouds and the sun peeks out, only to disappear again later. I took advantage of things that happen by chance. During filming, when Gatsby calls Ashleigh under the clouds he loves, a warm beam of light appeared where she was.” Furthermore, for Ashleigh Storaro he used a Steadicam for moving shots, while for Gatsby a steady camera. “We used the Steadicam to highlight Ashleigh’s need for freedom of movement,” he says. “She’s more open-minded and ready to jump into new experiences, while Gatsby tries to surround himself with simple things.”

Just like New York, rain plays a central role in the film. “We wanted the rain to symbolize romance and love,” says Allen. “New York is beautiful on gray, foggy or even rainy days. Buy a dim light and the streets become shiny and clean”. The rain also hints at the different ways Gatsby and Ashleigh view life. “Ashleigh thinks rain is sad, while Gatsby finds it romantic,” says Allen. The places Gatsby and Ashleigh visit also show the contrast of their personalities, as do the experiences they have in the time they spend in New York.

Gatsby and Ashley arrive in New York on a Saturday morning with plans to leave the next morning. Because Gatsby has everything planned down to the minute, we always know what time it is, and how things are spiraling out of his control. Time is one of the important themes of the film and it is no coincidence that a clock appears often in the story. “Gatsby planned everything so that we would have an enjoyable weekend with Ashleigh, but that doesn’t work out,” explains Allen. “As Gatsby says: ‘The city has a plan of its own.’ Time is always against you. You can try to control it, or manipulate it a little, but eventually you have to give up. From the moment the protagonists kiss under the clock at the end of the film, time begins to move their relationship forward, and that relationship may last a year, two, ten, twenty or a lifetime. But in any case it will go on over time, like all things in life”.

The soundtrack

  • The movie soundtrack includes songs from Erroll Garner, American jazz pianist and composer known for his swing playing and ballads. His best-known composition, the instrumental ballad “Misty”, has become a jazz standard. It was first recorded in 1956 with Mitch Miller and his orchestra and played a prominent role in the film Shiver in the night by Clint Eastwood. He has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6363 Hollywood Blvd. His he live album, Concert by the Seafirst published in 1955, sold over a million copies by 1958.

The songs included in the film:

1. I Got Lucky in the Rain – Bing Crosby
2. The Best Things in Life Are Free – Erroll Garner
3. Will You Still Be Mine? Erroll Garner
4. I’ve Got the World on a String by Erroll Garner
5. Red Sails in the Sunset – Erroll Garner
6. Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18: III. Allegro Scherzando by Sergei Rachmaninoff performed by Svetlana Navasardian, Gennadi Provatorov and the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra.
7. Time to Heal – Christopher Lennertz
8. Everything Happens to Me – Conal Fowkes
9. Undecided – Erroll Garner
10. Everything Happens to Me – Conal Fowkes (piano) & Timothée Chalamet (vocals)
11. That’s My Kick – Erroll Garner
12 Misty – Erroll Garner
13. They Say It’s Wonderful – Conal Fowkes
14. Gigi – Conal Fowkes
15. New York Nights – Barrie Gledden, Steve Dymond & Jason Pedder
16. Just Let It Go – Terrence Shawn Kelly
17. Bye Bye Baby – Conal Fowkes
18. Sing a Song of Sixpence – Michael Scales
19. Everything Happens to Me – Conal Fowkes Trio

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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