Amazon’s Woody Allen Drama ‘Wonder Wheel’ to Close Out New York Film Festival

Amazon’s original film projects continue to gain buzz and attract huge talents, whether it’s flicks that Amazon Studios is developing internally or partnering with other entities to distribute. Amazon recently announced it will be self-distributing one such project, Woody Allen’s 1950s period drama Wonder Wheel. And now Wonder Wheel will have the honor of closing out this year’s New York Film Festival.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center made the announcement late last week, revealing that Wonder Wheel will provide the capper for the 55th annual NYFF this fall. Allen’s latest film stars Justin Timberlake, James Belushi, Kate Winslet, and Juno Temple in a story set in 1950s Coney Island. Here’s a bit of synopsis from the press release:

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 of the film:

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.

This isn’t Amazon’s first partnership with comedy legend Woody Allen. The filmmaker debuted his original TV series, Crisis in Six Scenes, on Amazon in September 2016. Prime subscribers can stream that show right here. (Full disclosure: it didn’t fare well with critics.)

The New York Film Festival will run from September 28 – October 15. You can find more information about Wonder Wheel, as well as the other films screening there, from the official website. As with other Amazon Studios projects, we can expect Wonder Wheel to join the Prime streaming catalog at some point after its theatrical run.