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'To Rome With Love' Blu-ray: Jesse Eisenberg on working with Woody Allen -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

In To Rome With Love, Woody Allen’s most recent traveling roadshow in an iconic European locale, the director steps in front of the camera for the first time since 2006′s Scoop. He plays a retired music-recording exec who visits Rome with his wife (Judy Davis) to meet their daughter’s Italian fiancé, whose father just so happens to be an undiscovered opera virtuoso — as long as he performs in the shower. It’s one of four amusing story threads, but fans of Allen’s most memorable on-screen neurotics will be drawn to Jesse Eisenberg, who plays an American architectural student tempted by his girlfriend’s free-spirited old classmate (Ellen Page). Eisenberg’s previous work — especially in movies like The Squid and the Whale and Zombieland — seemingly pointed him towards an inevitable collaboration with Allen, and you can sense the writer/director may have felt the same way by the way he wrote Eisenberg’s character’s relationship with an older, wiser architect played by Alec Baldwin. When the young man is thrust into an awkward romantic situation where he has to navigate a moral dilemma, you can almost hear two voices whispering advice into Eisenberg’s ear: Baldwin’s architect and Woody Allen himself.

With Rome out on Blu-ray today, the 29-year-old Eisenberg spoke to EW about working with a legend, his next appearance on the New York stage, and an upcoming reunion with Zombieland co-star Woody Harrelson. Click below for a Q&A and an exclusive video extra clip from the new Blu-ray.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Woody Allen is famous for being very particular about selecting the right actors for his films, but then being hands-off and letting them do what they want once the production begins.
JESSE EISENBERG: Yes, I guess he was very open-minded about letting the actors kind of fill up the space. A lot of the shots are just one shot and because you’d don’t have an opportunity to edit many different shots together, you kind of have to fill up a lot of the space between the written dialog, so he was just very open to us saying anything. I think he’s the best script writer, so it seems a little strange to be improvising in a movie of his. But he just wants things to sound casual and to kind of move quickly so there’s not a lot of dead space. READ FULL STORY

My problem with Woody Allen these days: It's the way his characters talk. Plus, a few thoughts on Andrew Sarris

As someone who will always consider Woody Allen a god, I admit that I’ve been pretty grumpy about his movies over the past few years. The last one I really loved was Match Point, the addictively squirmy, London-set drama of lust and ambition and adultery and murder he made back in 2005. It was the rare thriller with a true Hitchcock edge — and, for my money, a more brilliantly insidious (and complex) variation on the themes of Allen’s 1989 Crimes and Misdemeanors. In the seven years since Match Point, however, the press, perhaps grateful that Woody, in his 70s, is still churning out a movie a year, seems to have stopped asking for him to be major again. Audiences, too, have grown freshly fond of Woody as a kind of sweet genius of cosmopolitan fables, a maker of luscious desserts that don’t pretend to be much more than desserts. And so you’d have to be quite a curmudgeon to knock these movies, right? READ FULL STORY

Woody Allen opens L.A. Film Festival with 'To Rome With Love'

Woody Allen is rarely seen on the West Coast, but he was in L.A. Thursday night for the North American premiere of his latest film, To Rome With Love at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

“Everyone has been saying to us, ‘Is he really gonna show up? Is he really gonna show up?’ for two months now,” Sean McManus, co-president of Film Independent, which produces the festival, told EW.

But show up he did, and to a standing ovation as he took the stage to introduce his 47th directorial feature.

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