Words by ZALEHAH TURNER

 

Only a few years after the release of the multi-award winning Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen has returned, not only to France but also to the 1920’s, with Magic in the Moonlight – this time without the magic of time travel or the spellbinding impossibilities that can overpower the logic of rationality and leave one craving more.

Magic in the Moonlight has an all-star cast, with Academy Award winner Colin Firth in the lead as the excruciatingly rational and egotistical Stanley Crawford, whose fame comes as much from his impressive performances as the great magician, Wei Ling Soo, as it is does from his reputation as ‘the greatest debunker of fake spiritualists’. Firth plays alongside Emma Stone as Sophie Baker, a young medium and the purposed ‘fake spiritualist’, who manages to turn the tables on Stanley and open his eyes to the magic of the real world, love.

Sadly, neither of the characters are appealing; and magic, whether from this world or another, is missing. The young, uneducated Sophie (Stone), no matter how well lit and wide eyed, turns the pompous, unlikable Stanley (Firth) into a ‘believer’ only to have his reputation and the childish hopes he holds dear crushed. The experience leaves him clutching at his one, last hope of magic – love, which surely has to be an illusion, though admittedly one the world needs.

Allen’s conflicting love of magicians coupled with his rigorously asserted disbelief in spiritualism, sees him leave the magic of Midnight in Paris behind, as he once again resorts to heavy handed wise cracks. Leave your desire for a film that can transport you to another time at the door with this one.

Magic in the Moonlight will be in cinemas from August 28.

3.5/5 

 

Editor’s Note: in Issue 2: pARTy, Vertigo published an article on the enjoyment of Woody Allen’s films in light of his alleged crimes, that is worth revisiting. Read it here.

 

Feature image via Indiewire