Sunday, September 13, 2015

Movie review - "Magic in the Moonlight" (2014) **1/2

Sweet, dopey Woody Allen romantic comedy which has a flimsy central idea that really should have been turned into an episode of an anthology picture but benefits from its 1920s setting in the South of France, and the usual strong cast. Colin Firth is professional in the lead, which would have been better with a young Woody or Owen Wilson - he's okay I just think it would have been more fun with a neurotic lead. Also it doesn't feel right the a skeptic would also be a magician - it felt as though he should have been an academic or a morose stand up comic or journalist or something. There was a disconnect for me.

Allen is clearly biologically incapable of making a movie where the male lead doesn't fall in love with a woman young enough to be his daughter, but at least Woody isn't playing the part, and the heroine is lovely Emma Stone, who suits the cadences of Woody land perfectly.

Hamish Linklater is fun as the ukele-playing wet drip of an American - as is Jackie Weaver. I wish Allen had found more to do with Marcia Gay Harden (Stone's mum) and the other rich Americans - the movie could have done with a few more subplots. Compared with the depth and tightness of say Hannah and Her Sisters there film reflects poorly - it doesn't have the energy or depth. But it does have a charm, and is pleasing to watch.

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