review for Bullets Over Broadway on AllMovie

Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
by Michael Betzold review

In another of Woody Allen's homages to the Jazz Age, a mobster-turned-thespian, played exquisitely by Chazz Palmenteri, steals the show. With its pleasantly preposterous script, Bullets Over Broadway solidly exemplified Allen's 1990s comeback. As is often the case in Allen's films, the protagonist is a struggling artist. Allen often casts himself as this character; here, John Cusack gets the role, and, like such other Allen stand-ins as Kenneth Branagh in Celebrity, his mimicking of Allen's mannerisms is an acquired taste. Oscar-nominated Jennifer Tilly is fabulously bimboesque, also Oscar-nominated Palmenteri is wondrous as the inspired bodyguard who rewrites the script, and the cast is filled with Allen's usual assortment of beautifully turned small roles and oddball characters. Dianne Wiest won her second Oscar for an Allen film (the first came eight years earlier for Hannah and Her Sisters) as a stage diva whose "Don't speak!" joined the ranks of classic movie lines.