Emma Stone and Collin Firth in woody Allen’s “Magic In the Moonlight”
Woody Allen has made a career of producing and often times starring in his own films produced by agents and longtime friends Jack Rollins and Charles Joffe. Lately, everything from Match Point to his most recent academy Award winning film Blue Jasmine. Allen has filled his films with beautiful frames of exotic countries like Rome, Spain, and most recently the south of France. Woody Allen’s Magic In The Moonlight is a period piece that takes place in 1928 and like any of his recent hits, is a send up of the French new wave.
Stanley (Colin Firth), a magician whom goes by the name of Wei Ling Soo, is called to the French Riviera by a friend Howard Burkan (Simon McBurney). Burkan has met a “spiritualist” Sophie Baker (Emma Stone) that is garnering all types of appraise; Howard swears she is the real deal and that Stanley must come to see her for himself. Stanley however, has built an illustrious career out of “debunking” mediums and so-called “spiritualists”. He sees life as dull and is very pessimistic to boot. So upon arrival it’s really no surprise that he starts making smart quips and alienating everyone that comes within fifteen feet of him. It’s your average Woody Allen hilarity as everyone from Freud and Nietzsche are named within a single line of dialogue with British bravado.
Sophie later gives a séance that night that is supposed to allow Grace Catledge (Jacki Weaver) to speak to her departed husband; so she can ask him questions about being “faithful” to him as well as was “Being The only one in his life”. Stanley laughs it off as he sits in the back of room and looks for the usual tricks like wires and feet kicking the table as “spirits” enter the room. As the séance begins cracks are heard as well as candles jumping up from the table, Stanley swears its all-fake, he just doesn’t know how she’s doing it. As Time passes at the Catledge getaway and he spends more time with Sophie he grows fond of her and maybe falling for her. Sophie however, already has a proposition on the table in the form of Brice Catledge (Hamish LinkLater) the heir to the family fortune.
Magic In the Moonlight is by no means Woody Allen’s best film nor is it expected to be. However, it is light hearted and is easy to relax to as the film is funny and albeit questions the supernatural with flair. If you’ve enjoyed Midnight In Paris or even to To Rome With Love Chances are you’ll enjoy Magic In The Moonlight.