Regardless of what one may think about Woody Allen's personal peccadilloes, as an auteur, he does turn out smart movies. Celebrity is no exception. His casting is impeccable (Leo!) -- real life tabloid celebrities share screen time with long time Allen favorites. All the requisite symbols of fame and fortune are scattered about (storyencoding) -- plastic surgery, personal assistants, impossible restaurant reservations, ladies who lunch. The paparazzi snap the glitterati -- the East Coast intelligentsia toss off literary bon mots.
The table hopping style of storytelling (storyweaving) bears a semblance of a Dramatica grand argument story, necessary for keeping the film from pop icon overload. The main character throughline is quite well defined; Kenneth Branagh as Lee Simon takes on the usual Allen role of the shallow whiner-a lovable skirt chasing loser (judgement-bad). His quest (mc domain-physics) for the spotlight (mc concern-obtaining) fails, in stinging contradiction to his influence character, awkward ex-wife Robin (Judy Davis). Robin not only changes her essential nature (ic resolve), but also blossoms (oc concern-becoming) into a media savvy, camera ready beauty (she's superficial, but much happier!). Lee and Robin's throughlines intersect enough to offer a relationship story, but the objective story is as elusive as celebrity itself.
In the case of Celebrity, a loosely structured story works well thematically with its ephemeral subject matter-that unlike the cinematography, is not all black and white. Woody Allen provides just enough of a framework to create a celluloid context for our celebrity culture that allows us to have a laugh on him, and of course, on our own star-struck selves.