It’s no accident that the moral center of this movie, a kindly rabbi named Ben (Sam Waterston), is in the process of going blind. Woody Allen’s bleak comedy takes a piercingly cynical look at the notion that punishment for the guilty is any kind of a certainty. In the world of this film, power, privilege and luck have more to do with justice than any kind of moral virtue.
Woody Allen films can be an acquired taste, and I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t truly acquired it. I’ve admired some of his films individually, like Hannah and Her Sisters, but not enough that news of a new Allen film automatically draws me out to the theater.
Whatever your opinion of Woody Allen films, Melinda and Melinda is unlikely to change your mind. It’s a film so specifically targeted at Woody Allen’s core audience that it’s actually a little off-putting to those who don’t fit into that demographic.