Not only has he kept up his blistering pace of pushing out a movie a year, but this time he's really delivered two films, only loosely connected by jangling neurosis.
"Cafe Society," starring Jesse Eisenberg as the sweet but awkward Allen stand-in, is a meandering look at lost love that is split between the highball-sipping, fur-wearing elite nightclubs of Manhattan and Hollywood in the 1930s.
Allen seems both intrigued and repulsed by all the glamour and never keeps a consistent tone, just as his leading man stumbles trying to achieve coherence, seemingly alternating in every other scene from nebbish, stuttering clown to passive-aggressive bully to suave sophisticate.
Allen's cinematographer is three-time Academy Award winner Vittorio Storaro, who combines with costume designer Suzy Benzinger and production designer Santo Loquasto to re-create lush, gorgeous spaces filled with black ties and shimmering gowns, all elegantly lit.
In "Cafe Society," the martinis are dry, stunning women fall for weirdos, and irritating people are shot in the head and dumped in concrete, but all in good fun.