The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today that Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel” will screen as the Closing Night selection of the 55th New York Film Festival. The event is scheduled to take place between September 28 and October 15. This will be the film’s World Premiere, scheduled to debut at Alice Tully Hall on Saturday, October 14. Amazon Studios will release” Wonder Wheel” on December 1, 2017, the first film the studio will distribute independently.
The studio details the film:
“We’re in Coney Island in the 1950s. A lifeguard (Justin Timberlake) tells us a story that just might be filtered through his vivid imagination: a middle-aged carousel operator (James Belushi) and his beleaguered wife (Kate Winslet), who eke out a living on the boardwalk, are visited by his estranged daughter (Juno Temple)—a situation from which layer upon layer of all-too-human complications develop.”
New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones said, “I’m not quite sure what I expected when I sat down to watch Wonder Wheel, but when the lights came up I was speechless. There are elements in the film that will certainly be familiar to anyone who knows Woody Allen’s work, but here he holds them up to a completely new light. I mean that literally and figuratively, because Allen and Vittorio Storaro use light and color in a way that is stunning in and of itself but also integral to the mounting emotional power of the film. And at the center of it all is Kate Winslet’s absolutely remarkable performance—precious few actors are that talented, or fearless.”
The New York Film Festival has showcased Allen’s work on two other occasions: “Bullets Over Broadway” was Centerpiece of NYFF32 in 1994 and “Celebrity” was Opening Night of NYFF36 in 1998.
The selection committee, chaired by Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Programming; Florence Almozini, FSLC Associate Director of Programming; and Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Film Comment and Sight & Sound. Earlier this summer, NYFF announced Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying as Opening Night and Todd Haynes’s Wonderstruck as the Centerpiece selection. The retrospective section honors Robert Mitchum’s centenary.