Irrational Man (2015)
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey, and Jamie Blackley
Directed by Woody Allen
Therein is the Hitchcockian spin in Allen's latest feature film which, when it occurs about halfway through, lifts the flick up from a bit of a slow, predictable start. Phoenix fits right in to the Woody Allen landscape with his downtrodden professor a perfect match for the actor himself who is quite adept at playing depressed men with a bit of anxiety. (It wouldn't be a Woody Allen film without anxiety creeping in, right?) While Emma Stone's Jill doesn't stretch the actress in any way, it's a much better character than her somewhat over-the-top role as a kooky psychic in Allen's last feature Magic in the Moonlight. In fact, everything about Irrational Man is better than that prior feature, despite the fact that this flick, as mentioned, takes a little while to actually get to the meat of its story. While Phoenix and Stone certainly try to make their relationship patter click in the film's first half, it really doesn't end up mattering much to the overall story which is no fault of the two actors. Still, Irrational Man falls into the upper half of the Woody Allen flicks I've seen in terms of quality and story, and, while not perfect, creates an engaging atmosphere that comes into its own as the film progresses.
The RyMickey Rating: B-