Wonder Wheel (2017)

Wonder Wheel (2017)
Wonder Wheel posterRating: 6.2/10 (11,471 votes)
Director: Woody Allen
Writer: Woody Allen
Stars: Justin Timberlake, Juno Temple, Robert C. Kirk, Kate Winslet
Runtime: 101 min
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Drama
Released: 15 Dec 2017
Plot: On Coney Island in the 1950s, a lifeguard tells the story of a middle-aged carousel operator, his beleaguered wife, and the visitor who turns their lives upside-down.

Wonder Wheel (2017)

Mickey Rubin, a Coney Island life guard with aspirations to be a playwright like Eugene O’Neill, narrates through the fourth wall. Carolina, the daughter of Humpty Rannell, arrives at the boardwalk looking for Ginny Rannell, her father’s second wife who works as a waitress at the clam shack. She begs Ginny to let her live with them, but Ginny leaves it up to Humpty, who angrily kicked her out when she married her mobster boyfriend Frank and threw away her college education and chance for a better life. Carolina tells him she is on the run from Frank, who she believes wants to kill her because she gave evidence of mob activity to the FBI. Humpty lets her stay, on the condition that she saves money to return to college and better her life. Ginny gets her a waitress job where she works.

Ginny used to be an actress and was happily married, but caused her husband to divorce her by being unfaithful. She and Humpty are raising her young son Ritchie, a troubled boy who habitually gets in trouble by setting fires. She is unhappy with Humpty and living on the boardwalk, and has been carrying on an affair with Mickey for a few months. Humpty is an angry and loud recovering alcoholic who runs the Cyclone ride, and goes fishing with his friends to bring dinner home. But he starts to find more joy and patience for life with Carolina around, and he pays for her to go to night school.

Mickey is attracted to Ginny because of her age and experience, and because he views her as a damsel in need of saving. He and Carolina accidentally meet some time later, and becomes attracted by Carolina’s story. He thinks he is in love with her, but is conflicted with his feelings for Ginny. Ginny steals money from Humpty to buy Mickey an expensive watch as a birthday present, which he refuses to accept. By this time, Ginny has become suspicious of Mickey’s feelings for Carolina and is jealous.

Mobsters Angelo and Nick come around, asking Humpty, and the owner of the clam shack, about Carolina’s whereabouts. Carolina takes Mickey on a date to a Brooklyn pizza parlor, and her boss innocently tells this to Angelo and Nick. Ginny telephones the pizza parlor to warn Carolina but begins to stutter, realizing her opportunity to have Carolina away from Mickey, and hangs up. Mickey tells Carolina the whole truth about his feelings for her and his affair. Instantly feeling compassionate for everyone involved, Carolina decides to walk home alone to process the information and decide what she should do, not wanting to hurt Ginny or her father or Mickey. We see Angelo and Nick’s car following her as she leaves the pizza parlor.

When Carolina doesn’t come home, Humpty asks Mickey the next day if he saw her after the date. Mickey investigates, and finds out Ginny called the pizza parlor but didn’t speak. Piecing it together, he confronts Ginny, who has started drinking and getting made up in one of her glamorous stage costumes. She pulls a knife out of the drawer and asks Mickey to kill her, but he leaves. Humpty comes back, sinking back into alcoholism after the police found no trace of Carolina, and tells Ginny he needs her help again to function in life. He tries to find a positive outlook and invites her to meet his friends wives on a fishing trip they take but she coldly refuses, keeping their rut in life status quo.

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