The Whatever Works team — director-writer Woody Allen, costars Larry David, Evan Rachel Wood and Patricia Clarkson — held a press conference early this afternoon at the Hotel Regency. Here’s an mp3 of the whole thing. A good thing, several laughs, time well spent.
Allen, typically candid and clever and self-deprecating, got the biggest laughs. David amused here and there but was mainly plain-spoken. Clarkson got off a few good ones. Wood looked very uptown and older than her 22 years with reddish swept-back hair — Suzie Parker circa 1958.
I asked a slightly off-center question about how much of the humor and dialogue felt misanthropic when I first saw Whatever Works a few weeks ago, particularly in the way Allen views folks from the hinterlands, but that two recent political murders by right-wing loonies had made the film seems less misanthropic on a certain level. Woody got a good laugh when he answered that he’s “against murders,” but then he went with the thought and riffed a bit about what a horrific and threatening place the world seems to be on a daily basis.
“Think of that one scene in Hannah and Her Sisters when Max Von Sydow, playing a cynical painter, rails against money-mad Christian preachers, and then multiply it 100 times and then make it a bit meaner,” I said in my 4.22 review, trying to sum up the film.
“But what the characters say and finally do in Whatever Works isn’t cause for anyone’s misanthropy. The story is about people changing and adapting and going with the flow, and it ends on a gracious and generous note.”
(I. to r.) Patricia Clarkson, Larry David, Woody Allen, Evan Rachel Wood — Thursday, 6.11, 2:10 pm.