Stardust Memories 1980

Stardust Memories

Critics Consensus

Woody Allen throws himself a pity party with all the surrealistic trimmings of Federico Fellini in Stardust Memories, a scabrous self-portrait that rankles as often as it impresses stylistically.

68%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 28

78%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,058

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Movie Info

Can a comedian evolve into a challenging artist? Not in the public's view, as Sandy Bates (Woody Allen) learns the hard way. The hostile comments persistently hurled at him indicate that audiences prefer his earlier slapstick comedies over his recent work: allegorical black-and-white head-scratchers in the vein of European art films. Invited to attend a retrospective of his work, the former funny man must come to terms with critics, audiences, lovers and, ultimately, himself.

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Critic Reviews for Stardust Memories

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (9)

  • This one is best seen by film buffs and blindly devoted Woody Allen fans who will accept even his castigation. The rest of us can hope he cheers up soon.

    January 29, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Though there are laughs along the way, this is a truly mean-spirited picture.

    March 23, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • With its blunt, artless angst, the picture leaves you feeling depleted, squashed.

    March 23, 2009 | Full Review…
  • One long cry of anguish about the price of fame comes perilously close to self-pity. And self-abuse.

    June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • It's the first Woody Allen film in which impotence has become the situation rather than the problem. This is a movie about a guy who has given up.

    October 23, 2004 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Invokes the mood of an early Fellini film as it swirls through the troubled recollections of a film director, played by Mr. Allen.

    August 30, 2004 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for Stardust Memories

  • Feb 21, 2019
    Unlike most, I enjoyed this work of Woody Allen's, much more so than many of his "arty" films, and specifically because it doesn't seem as if it's trying to do any of that pretentious fawning for approval. As usual, Allen is chasing women - for better or for worse, his Muses, only placebo Muses - in between bouts of dealing with unthinking, selfish fans and the "get to the bottom line" money people, but it all has the endgame in sight of achieving satisfaction of his one true love: film. He even got a coupla laughs out of me, and it's been awhile since he's done that. Good stuff.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 18, 2013
    The story is a little weak and not all the jokes hit the mark, but there are just enough witty lines and great laughs to make Stardust Memories a trip worth taking. Like Manhattan, it's filmed in beautiful black-and-white, although in this case it's primarily used to evoke Federico Fellini's 8 1/2, from which Stardust Memories draws much of its inspiration. I feel that critics were a little too harsh and quick to judge the movie; it's been called self-indulgent and accused of being an excuse for Allen to express self-pity about being famous. I can understand why they would think that, but it's not nearly as whiney or repulsive as they make it out to be, and the movie does have a number of very funny jokes mixed in with the weaker ones. When compared to his other work, Stardust Memories is more than likely one of the weaker ones, but taken out of the context of Woody Allen's filmography it actually functions as a pretty funny and entertaining comedy, and that's more than enough for me.
    Joey S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 17, 2013
    This is easily the worse Woody Allen film I've ever seen, and my 2 stars are generous ones. I mean I even gave Allen's, Anything Else, a four star rating, but this was awful. It had a few good dialectical moments, when it was trying to be funny, but the romance failed. I understand it was some sort of early montage of Allen's career, but most of it was stuff only Woody himself could get. To add on I think Woody already used enough black and white filming in Manhattan. It was unnecessary to do it again and made the film dull. 2 stars-
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Jan 09, 2013
    One of Allen's most complex movies, in terms of structure at least. Obviously reminescent of Fellini and Bergman.
    Hugo S Super Reviewer

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