Set in the 1950s, “Wonder Wheel” is narrated by Mickey Rubin, an aspiring playwright working as a lifeguard, who starts an affair with Ginny, a former actress-turned-waitress. Ginny is already married to her second husband Humpty, a recovering alcoholic. Things are further complicated when Caroline, Humpty’s daughter from his previous marriage, returns after being estranged for five years.

“Wonder Wheel” is directed by Woody Allen and distributed by Amazon Studios.

‘Full of Tragedy’

“Even at his airiest, Woody Allen’s late period output is full of tragedy,” writes Kyle Turner of Paste Magazine.

He goes on to say that the self-loathing portrayed in “Wonder Wheel” as well as in many of Allen’s recent films, is the only quality that makes the movie worthwhile. Describing Allen as a “workmanlike” director, Turner adds that “Wonder Wheel” is, to some extent, an attempt by Allen to bring this self-loathing to the stage. He also criticizes the character of Mickey, describing it as “insufferable”

'Director’s best film in years'

According to CBS News’ David Morgan, the screenplay of “Wonder Wheel” exhibits more effort than Allen’s recent films. “Its dialogue and plot are less writerly and mannered,” he adds. Morgan also raves about the acting, particularly Kate Winslet and Jim Belushi’s portrayal of Ginny and Humpty, respectively.

“The cast also brings a naturalism that is sometimes missing from the actors in Allen's films,” he writes.

“Flawed but fine”

The Tracking Board’s Edward Douglas states that while the melodrama isn’t perfect, Winslet’s exceptional performance elevates the movie. According to Douglas, Winslet has the ability to nail whatever role or dialogue she is presented.

Justin Timberlake and Juno Temple’s acting, on the other hand, is described as “decent.” “…but it doesn’t seem like they’re offering anything special compared to Winslet and Belushi,” he adds. Although a majority of reviewers are praising the cinematography of Vittorio Storaro, Douglas states that the artificial lighting makes the set look unreal.

He concludes that although “Wonder Wheel” is not Allen’s best work or his worst, it is an improvement from his previous #Movies.

“Wonder Wheel,” starring Jim Belushi, Kate Winslet, Justin Timberlake and Juno Temple, is scheduled to be released on December 1, 2017.

Watch the trailer for “Wonder Wheel” in the video below.