Stardust Memories (1980)


Comedy | Drama





Woody Allen, Charlotte Rampling, Jessica Harper, Marie-Christine Barrault, Tony Roberts, Daniel Stern, Amy Wright, Helen Hanft, John Rothman, Gabrielle Strasun


While attending a retrospective of his work, Sandy Bates (Woody Allen), a successful filmmaker, recalls his life and his loves: the inspirations for his films.


Many of Woody Allen's films have been introspective and autobiographical, but "Stardust Memories" takes it to the next level. Unfortunately, despite its many laughs and jokes, the film is mostly tedious and unengaging.

After many comedies and some dramas, Woody Allen questions the meaning of life and the path his career is taking. In order to do that, he copied Fellini's "" straightaway. Indeed, the film completely lacks originality. The beginning - a claustrophobic Allen trapped in a railroad car (Mastroianni was trapped in a car instead) -, the black and white photography, some shots - a procession in the background while other characters pop up  in the foreground. If it wasn't for the huge quality difference, one might say it's the same film.

Also, this time no effort is made to pretend that the character is anybody but Allen himself - a filmmaker first adored for his earlier funny movies, then appreciated for his deeper pictures. This wouldn't be a problem if he did not call buffoons those who like his early comedies better than his deeper films.

Like I mentioned before there are many laughs, but they produce nothing but wry smiles and rarely - more like never - they are laughing out loud funny.

The three main actresses, Charlotte Rampling, Jessica Harper and Marie-Christine Barrault, all give good performances but their characters aren't entirely convincing. 

If all Allen's later films were like this one, it'd be natural to say "I like his earlier, funnier films better". 


  1. I pretty much agree. I always felt like this film was Woody just experimenting with some of the things he loved about Fellini, essentially making 8 1/2-Lite. I remember liking some of it though and cracking up at a few scenes. It works as sort of a parody, if nothing else. I just read that Woody himself considers this to be his best film, along with Purple Rose of Cairo and Match Point. Three that I love but don't go back to often.

    1. I loved Match Point, and I haven't seen Purple Rose of Cairo yet, but this one his best film? He really has some weird opinions about his own films.

  2. I love Woody Allen in his earlier films but then I find him getting more annoying. I should watch some of his works again since I feel I can stomach him again

    1. If you loved his earlier films, I'd avoid this one if I were you.