Celebrity (1998)



Critic Consensus: Entertaining, but too scattered.

Celebrity Videos

Celebrity Photos

Movie Info

When a reporter is assigned to the celebrity beat he anticipates a little excitement. But he never expected this... Quickly, he finds himself on a collision course with four of the most outrageous people he has ever met: a sensuous starlet, an out-of-control movie star, an aspiring actress, and a sexy supermodel. Together they're going to take him for an unforgettable walk on the wild side of fame and fortune.
R (for language, sex and some drug use)
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Miramax Films


Kenneth Branagh
as Lee Simon
Hank Azaria
as David
Judy Davis
as Robin Simon
Famke Janssen
as Bonnie
Bebe Neuwirth
as Hooker
Michael Lerner
as Dr. Lupus
Isaac Mizrahi
as Bruce Bishop
Donald Trump
as Himself
Charlize Theron
as Supermodel
Irina Pantaeva
as Friend of Supermodel
Mark Vanderloo
as Friend of Supermodel
Frederique Van Der Wal
as Friend of Supermodel
Donna Hanover
as `Manhattan Moods' Anchor Woman
Anthony Mason
as Himself
Karen Duffy
as TV Reporter at Premiere
Jeffrey Wright
as Off-Off Broadway Director
Kate Burton
as Robin's Friend Cheryl
Greg Mottola
as Director
Dylan Baker
as Priest at Catholic Retreat
Andre Gregory
as John Papadakis
Allison Janney
as Evelyn Issacs
Aida Turturro
as Psychic
Jeff Mazzola
as Assistant Director
Dick Mingalone
as Camera Operator
Vladimir Bibic
as Director of Photography
Francisco Quidjada
as Erno Deluca
Aleksa Palladino
as Production Assistant
Dan Moran
as Jackhammer Operator
Pete Castelotti
as Sound Recordist
A. Lee Morris
as Second Assistant Cameraperson
Douglas McGrath
as Bill Gaines
Maurice Sonnenberg
as Dalton Freed
Craig Ulmschneider
as Production Assistant Daniel
Mina Bern
as Elderly Homeowner
Janet Marlow
as Singing Nun
Tommie Baxter
as Second Nun
Kathleen Doyle
as Father Gladen's Fan
Arthur Berwick
as Father Gladen's Fan
Jodi Long
as Father Gladen's Fan
John Carter
as Father Gladen
Monique Fowler
as Robin's Friend Jan
Marylouise Burke
as Father Gladen's Fan on Porch
Peter Boyden
as Father Gladen's Fan on Porch
Peter McRobbie
as Father Gladen's Fan on Porch
Maureen McNamara
as Father Gladen's Fan on Porch
J.K. Simmons
as Souvenir Hawker
Melinda Eng
as Fashion Designer
Alma Cuervo
as Bruce Bishop's Admirer
Roshumba Williams
as Bruce Bishop's Admirer
Polly Adams
as Exercise Tape Fan
Brian McConnachie
as Exercise Tape Fan
Daisy Prince
as Waiting Room Nurse
Tina Sloan
as Waiting Room Patient
Dayle Haddon
as Waiting Room Patient
Bill Gerber
as Waiting Room Patient
Julie Halston
as Patient with Jowls
Renee Lippin
as Second Examining Room Patient
Reuben Jackson
as Second Examining Room Patient
Debra Messing
as Cameraman at Lupus Office
Carmen Dell Orefice
as TV Reporter at Lupus Office
Skip Rose
as Couple on Beach
Alicia Meer
as Couple on Beach
Gerry Becker
as Jay Tepper
Ileen Getz
as Reunion Announcer
Robert Cuccioli
as Monroe Gordon
Larry Pine
as Philip Datloff
Surinder Khosla
as V.J. Rajnipal
Marian Seldes
as Datloff Party Guest
Frederick Rolf
as Book Reviewer
David Margulies
as Counselor Adelman
Ramsey Faragallah
as TV Program Director
William Addy
as Klansman
Patrick McCarthy
as Klansman
Bernard Addison
as Minister Polynice
Mary Schmidtberger
as TV Production Assistant
Sarah Buff
as TV Production Assistant
Heather Marni
as Teenage Obese Acrobat
Bruno Gioiello
as Skinhead
Sean Daloise
as Skinhead
Matthew Sweeney
as Skinhead
Kyle Kulish
as Overweight Achiever
Tony Sirico
as Lou DeMarco
Kenneth Edelson
as Rabbi Kaufman
Sam Gray
as Tony's Father
Marilyn Raphael
as Tony's Mother
Antoinette Schwartzberg
as Tony's Grandmother
Adam Sietz
as Vince
Michael Crecco
as Hotel Clerk
Neal Arluck
as Hotel Clerk
Tim Jerome
as Hotel Clerk
Joseph Tudisco
as Hotel Clerk
Jim Moody
as Security Guard
Robert Torres
as Security Guard
Steven Randazzo
as Cop at Hotel
Joe Costelloe
as Cop at Hotel
Adrian Grenier
as Darrow Entourage
Sam Rockwell
as Darrow Entourage
John Doumanian
as Darrow Entourage
Lorri Bagley
as Chekhov-Style Writer
Richard Mawe
as Elaine's Book Party Guest
Ted Neustadt
as Elaine's Book Party Guest
Bruce Jay Friedman
as Elaine's Book Party Guest
Erica Jong
as Elaine's Book Party Guest
Ned Eisenberg
as Elaine's Book Party Guest
Clebert Ford
as Elaine's Book Party Guest
Ralph Pope
as Comic's Agent
Rick Mowat
as Moving Man in Loft
Tony Darrow
as Moving Man in Loft
Victor Colicchio
as Moving Man in Loft
Robert Cividanes
as Moving Man in Loft
Donegal Fitzgerald
as Moving Man on Street
Leslie Shenkel
as `Manhattan Moods' Assistant Director
Howard Erskine
as Senator Paley
Celia Weston
as Dee Bartholomew
Wood Harris
as Al Swayze
Ray Cohen
as Pianist at Wedding
Angel L. Cabán
as Limo Driver
Ingrid Rogers
as Off-Off Broadway Actress
Gigi Williams
as Fan of Robin Simon
Michael Moon
as Vocals/Guitar
Peter Dark
as Guitar/Vocals
Murphy Occhino
as Drums/Vocals
Randy Jordan
as Bass/Vocals
Mike Ponella
as Trumpet
Ron Affif
as Guitar
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Celebrity

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (6)

technically, the b/w film is impressive, but the tale is shallow and diffuse and has little to say about our media- saturated life and obsession with fame.

Full Review… | June 14, 2011

Celebrity is about the tiny planets revolving around Hollywood's many suns, trying to absorb some heat. It's a cold universe nonetheless.

Full Review… | August 13, 2007

Allen is something of a heartless director with actors, to the extent that it is somewhat bewildering that so many actors profess to want to work with him.

January 16, 2006
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The movie is filmed in black-and-white, but it's a far cry from his love poems Manhattan and Broadway Danny Rose. Celebrity is smaller, more cramped.

Full Review… | November 22, 2002
Combustible Celluloid

Pinpoints the excessive role of celebrities in American culture.

Full Review… | February 28, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

Nothing that hasn't been said a million times before.

Full Review… | April 19, 2001
Matinee Magazine

Audience Reviews for Celebrity


I struggled to find interest in this movie. Perhaps I'm not artistic enough, but I didn't see the point of the B&W, and it just dragged.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

Woody Allen movie about a mix of celebrity lifestyles. Leo makes a cameo appearance as a crazed movie star into drugs and women. I trust this is an overinflated version of his life.

Candy Rose
Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

At the core of Celebrity is an idea too good to screw up: revisit Fellini's La Dolce Vita, set it in the contemporary world of show-business, and replace Fellini's stoic, handsome stand-in (Marcello Mastroianni) with a Woody Allen-esque goofball. Not only is the concept of Woody Allen lost in a world of beautiful, superficial people intrinsically funny, but in holding up the the elegant world of 1960s Italian bohemians alongside the artificiality of 1990s American celebrities, the satire basically writes itself. However, reimagining what for my money is one of the greatest films of all time is a tall task, even for a director as great as Woody. The aforementioned Allen-esque goofball is played by Kenneth Branagh. His performance, in which he overtly mimics Woody Allen, has been almost universally derided. I don't think there any problems with the writing or casting of his character. Amidst the pristine movie stars and hungry publicists, there's huge comic potential for an awkward neophyte trying desperately to get his foot in the door, but the real Woody Allen is a bit too gawky, and a little too old. Plus, had he cast himself, it might've added an element of discomfort to the proceedings. When Branagh seduces Winona Ryder and Charlize Theron it's merely improbable; if it was Woody, it would've been narcissistic. The stand-in needs to be someone younger, more generic-looking, and slightly more authoritative. Allen's previous headliner John Cusack would have been a good choice. The Shakespearean Branagh seems an odd choice, but he adopts a goofy haircut and desperate smile that at least make him look the part. In Celebrity's early-going, I found myself enjoying Branagh's take on Allen's angsty New Yorker archetype, but as the movie progresses, acting starts to give way to imitating --indeed, Branagh explicitly starts imitating Woody. Allen's speech patterns and inflections are mimicked with incredible precision. Branagh's performance is not a disastrous artistic choice, but it is a distracting one. Defending himself against this common criticism, Woody Allen once claimed that only when he's forgotten will Branagh's performance be truly appreciated (as it would then no longer be viewed as an imitation). I suppose that could be true, although Celebrity will be forgotten long before Woody Allen. At this point, his screen persona is as indelible as those of John Wayne or Groucho Marx. As for the thematic concerns, and the aim to be a "modernized La Dolce Vita," the results are mixed. Sure, I'm biased because I put Fellini's masterpiece on a pedestal, and Allen definitely observes and comments on the nature of celebrity, but it doesn't quite have the poignancy nor does it touch upon the overarching societal problems that a fame-obsessed culture possesses quite as well. Like La Dolce Vita, Celebrity doesn't have a pointed narrative, it's more of a series of episodes and vignettes connected by one or two common characters. The two movies also share a surreal, dream-like quality. Neither seem to take place in a real world, but in spin-off, slightly tweaked universes. In Fellini's world, consequences are non-existent, and the characters all seem to treat life as a bit of a joke. In Allen's world, everyone is vapid, but gravely serious. It's the voice behind it (Allen's) that's amused. The gorgeous black & white cinematography by Sven Nykvist - the Bergman regular who also worked on the similarly striking Another Woman - brings the movie further into a dream-state. It has a soft-focus fuzziness that makes people look like airbrushed magazine models, and visual contrast that often turns backgrounds and faces solid black or solid white, making them seem like they're floating. This is one of the first movies from Allen that has a vivid sense of place without that place being Manhattan. Like all of Allen's movies, it takes place in (and was filmed in) New York, but it doesn't seem like it. If anything, the world of Celebrity seems more like an exaggerated Hollywood. It might have made more sense to film it (or at least set it) on the west coast, although that would have required the notoriously home-bound Allen to leave his apartment for upwards of a month. Celebrity reminded me a lot of Shadows and Fog. For one thing, they're both black & white movies that no one else liked (as of 1998, these are Allen's only two movies to have a "rotten" score on rottentomatoes.com). Both also have a Franz Kafka stand-in for a hero, a star-studded cast of eccentric and maddening supporting characters, and a deceptively light tone with dark undercurrents. In Shadows and Fog, that undercurrent was sometimes genuinely menacing, whereas in Celebrity it's more sarcastic and cynical. Allen seems equal parts amused and dismayed by the people who live in Celebrity. All of this leads to what I'm sure is a very unpopular opinion, which is that I prefer Celebrity to Deconstructing Harry. The latter had a similar structure, although it felt disjointed, and many of the asides seemed pointless. Celebrity, on the other hand, has a consistent tone, and a unifying caustic sense of humor. Every detour seems like a piece of a puzzle, even if they're put down in random order. That said, it can't measure up to the film it's honoring, but that's not a bad thing -- very few can.

Jonathan Hutchings
Jonathan Hutchings

Super Reviewer

Celebrity Quotes

Discussion Forum

Discuss Celebrity on our Movie forum!

News & Features