Café Society Trailer Shot-By-Shot Breakdown Part 1

The trailer for Café Society, the new film written and directed by Woody Allen, was released yesterday. As usual, here’s our shot-by-shot breakdown of what we learnt from the trailer. There could be some really minor spoilers so if you really don’t want to know anything, get the hell outta here. Check out the trailer if you’ve not seen it.

This post is pretty heavy with images so we’re doing this in two parts. Part 2 here.

Here we go!

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The Cannes Film Festival logo, where the film will premiere on 11th May.

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Mars Films. Allen’s longtime French distributor.

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Look at this amazing house. We’re not sure the actual location. The voice over mentions actress Ginger Rogers.

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Our voice is Steve Carell. He plays Phil.

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Phil gets a call from Rose. It’s Jeannie Berlin. Behind her, and we will see more of him later, is Ken Stott.

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Looks like Phil barely remembers his sister. He’s a bigwig in Hollywood, who has problem left his lower class roots in Brooklyn.

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Off to a lovely house, and lovely vintage cars.

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Here’s Jesse Eisenberg. He’s arrived in Hollywood.

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Here’s the family – the Dorfmans. Rose, along with her husband, and an older brother played by Corey Stoll. We know that every part of this film has a different look, and the gritty Brooklyn seems to be worlds apart from the Hollywood glitz. Rose mentions more actors – Fred Astaire and Gary Cooper.

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Écrit et réalisé par Woody Allen. Written and directed by Woody Allen.

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Then an amazing office. The production designer on the film is Santo Loquasto, who has worked with Allen for many decades, handling the design for many of his best films. Note the family photo.

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It’s Phil’s office. Lots of great art everywhere.

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A bit of back and forth. This could be these characters’ first meeting.

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Phil calls him Ben. But actually…

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It’s Bobby.

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And Vonnie. Kristen Stewart. She works for Phil.

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Where is this café society we’ve heard so much about? Here it is, the well-to-do party class. We recognise some of the people here. Eisenberg obviously. Parker Posey in the middle. To her left is Paul Schneider. Gregg Binkley to his left, in suspenders.

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Posey’s character with Bobby. She appears to take him under her wing.

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Back in Brooklyn, brother Ben is checking in.

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Bobby takes the call from a lovely house. Note the colour differences between the two worlds – blue and yellow. Vittorio Storaro, the cinematographer, talked a lot about how those worlds needed to look different.

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Looks like there’s more to Ben. He has lots of cash, and he is going into the nightclub business.

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Bobby is talking about his brother to Vonnie.

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Although he seems a bit oblivious to his mob ties. (Great cars)

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And he’s not afraid to bury some bodies. He looks like a pretty big player in the crime scene. He’s not getting his hands dirty.

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Bobby, looking sharp and heading out.

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He’s being taken out by Vonnie.

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Same house as before, but with Posey’s character. She seems to know New York as well. Perhaps, like Bobby, she is another East Coast-er, now living the glamorous life, hiding her roots.

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Bobby and Vonnie take in a film. They are at the Vista Theatre, 4473 Sunset Dr, Los Angeles. It opened in 1923 and it still looks wonderfully the same.

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Vonnie and Bobby. They sure look like they’re falling in love, right?

Find part 2 of our shot-by-shot breakdown.

Café Society premieres in France on 11th May.





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  1. That opening party scene was shot in the backyard of a 1930 Deco house in Santa Monica that was designed by MGM production designer Cedric Gibbons for his then-wife Dolores Del Rio.

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