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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Movie Review - Magic in the Moonlight

Magic in the Moonlight (2014)
Starring Eileen Atkins, Colin Firth, Marcia Gay Harden, Hamish Linklater, Simon McBurney, Emma Stone, and Jacki Weaver
Directed by Woody Allen

I've come across Woody Allen rather late in my life and I've admittedly still got a lot of catching up to do with his repertoire. While I've kept up to date on his current pieces, his supposedly "good" era of the 1970s and 1980s still is strongly underrepresented in my filmgoing experience.  Nevertheless, Magic in the Moonlight is Allen's latest directorial and penned piece and while it's light and amusing, it's almost too airy for its own good.

Colin Firth is Stanley, an illusionist whose stage act as Chinese magician Wei Ling Soo is renowned across Europe.  Stanley also happens to be well known for debunking soothsayers, fortune tellers, and afterlife believers and he is called upon by his good friend Howard (Simon McBurney) to head to his friend's house in France where a beautiful psychic named Sophie (Emma Stone) is working her charms on Grace and Brice Catledge (Jacki Weaver and Hamish Linklater), a mother and son who find hope in the young woman for different reasons -- one is amazed at Sophie's ability to purportedly contact her dead husband and the other is amazed at Sophie's ability to make him fall in love with her.  Upon Stanley's arrival, he is adamant that he will debunk Sophie's powers, but as he spends time with the psychic, he finds himself being taken in by her charms and begins to think his entire philosophy on life may need to be readjusted.

There's a charm present throughout Magic in the Moonlight and it certainly is thanks in large part to the actors, all of whom exude a 1920s flapper-esque joie de vivre.  Unfortunately, charm doesn't make a movie completely sing and there's not much else the film has going for it.  Allen's film is supposed to be a comedy, but the laughs are few and far between.  Sure, you may smile at Colin Firth and Emma Stone's repartee, but in the end what they're saying is rather inconsequential.  Then again, I always appreciate Woody Allen's use of music in his films and even when his jokes fall flat, his film soundtracks don't.

The RyMickey Rating:  C

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