Wonder Wheel





WONDER WHEEL tells the story of four characters whose lives intertwine amid the hustle and bustle of the Coney Island amusement park in the 1950s: Ginny (Kate Winslet), a melancholy, emotionally volatile former actress now working as a waitress in a clam house; Humpty (Jim Belushi), Ginny's rough-hewn carousel operator husband; Mickey (Justin Timberlake), a handsome young lifeguard who dreams of becoming a playwright; and Carolina (Juno Temple), Humpty's long-estranged daughter, who is now hiding out from gangsters at her father's apartment.

Reeling after the emotional breakdown brought on by her divorce, Ginny finds solace by marrying fellow lost soul Humpty, who is grieving from the death of his wife, and the departure of Carolina, who ran away to marry a local hoodlum. While Humpty has problems with alcohol and holding onto a job, he provides Ginny and her troubled son Richie (Jack Gore) with a home, albeit one in a cramped apartment in the midst of the cacophony of Coney Island amusement park's famed Wonder Wheel. Although Ginny finds a degree of stability with Humpty, she despairs at giving up her dreams for a waitressing job, her marriage to a man more interested in fishing than the finer things, and her inability to help Richie, who has his own emotional problems.

After her marriage to her gangster husband ends, Carolina is questioned by the FBI and knowing too much, it is imperative her ex-husband gets rid of her. Frightened and on the run, Carolina seeks out her father. Feeling she will not be traced there as the two have not spoken in years, he takes her in.

When Mickey sees Ginny walking forlornly alone on the beach one night, he approaches her, and they soon begin an affair. For Mickey, a relationship with an unhappily married woman flatters his romantic self-image, but he's not necessarily thinking long-term; Ginny, on the other hand, soon looks to Mickey as a lifeline with the potential to permanently rescue her from all the mistakes and disappointments of her past life.

Humpty is similarly rejuvenated by the reemergence of Carolina in his life. Having a daughter around to love provides surprising joy, as well as a newfound purpose: setting aside money for her to attend night school.

However, Ginny and Humpty's precarious new hopes and dreams are soon threatened when Mickey lays eyes on Carolina for the first time.

Poetically photographed by Vittorio Storaro, WONDER WHEEL is a powerful dramatic tale of passion, violence, and betrayal that plays out against the picturesque tableau of 1950s Coney Island.