Cast: Natalie Portman, Julie Christie, etc.
Direction: Yvan Attal, Mira Nair, Shekhar Kapur and others
Those who remember Paris, je t’aime (2006) fondly are likely to thumb up this bite of the Big Apple. Others may be disappointed, though, with the hodgepodge of styles offered by the various eight-to-ten minute vignettes served by 10 directors.
The brief segments just don’t come together to make a common point. As disturbingly, native New Yorkers such as Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee are conspicuous by their absence in this tribute of sorts to Gothamville.
As it happens, the strongest episode comes from the French director Yvan Attal. It depicts the efforts of a smooth-talking author (the wonderful Ethan Hawke) to seduce an attractive Asian woman (Maggie Q.) on the sidewalk outside a restaurant.
In Mira Nair’s passable contribution, Natalie Portman is a Jewish bride-to-be who encounters a Jain diamond merchant (Irrfan Khan).
Working from a script by the late British director, Anthony Minghella, Shekhar Kapur overdoes a story about a retired diva (Julie Christie). Much too pretentious, this.
The most poignant episode features an aged couple (nonagenarians Cloris Leachman-Eli Wallach) who step out for a walk to Brighton Beach.
Surprisingly, the little-known director Joshua Marston conveys the magic and madness of living in New York City. Applause, please! It makes this movie worth a visit.