“To you, I’m an atheist. To God, I’m the loyal opposition.” So said Woody Allen and while a lot is being made of the Spring-Autumn romance at the heart of Woody’s latest directorial effort, what this is really about is another of Allen’s tropes, if there is no afterlife magic, is there present life magic and where does one find it? In a woman’s smile,be it Mariel Hemingway or Emma Stone, apparently.
In the mid-1920s, Colin Frith is Stanley Crawford, illusionist extraordinary who goes by the stage name, er, Wei Ling Soo, called to the South of France by a childhood friend and a fellow magician to help debunk clairvoyant Sophie Baker (Emma Stone) only to find he can’t debunk her, and all the years of cynicism and faith begin to be pass and it finds a magic in life again.
The movie is a perfectly written dream of a story, shot in a gorgeous South Of France which looks like it just stepped out of “To catch A Thief” and Colin’s Henry ‘Iggins to Emma’s, well, she acts a lot like Emma, the story moves forward on plot points till it reaches its only possible conclusion and a happy ending. the tempo is sweet and certain and Colin isn’t too big an asshole to make Emma’s affection unbelievable.
Great to see the wonderful English actress Eileen Atkins as Stanley’s aunt, she steals every scene she is and it is great to see Woody sticking up for those of us who need illusions for the second time, “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” gave the ghost believers a similar happy ending although reverse.
But mostly, I liked the pattern of the story, i liked the way it moved from one form of magic to the other in a glorious setting which for 90 minutes made me comfortable with the voodoo that woody do so well and since we all know part of what must happen, how woody gets himself out of the rom-com is a big part of its charm. This is a movie that believes in love at first sight and just what the world needs from Woody.
weaving a fairy tale for us to get lost in
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – July 1973 (Volume 5, Number 2)
“I don’t consider David (Bowie) to be even remotely big enough to be any competition.”
an old school New York feel
oedipal vulnerable and blue collar visceral
An emotional song with Miya’s acrobatic and vulnerable vocals
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1973 (Volume 4, Number 12)
From Robert Johnson to the Ramones – what a life!
one of the great top tens of the 2020
will mark their return to the road in early February, 2023 with a string of to-be-announced US arena dates
enjoyable and soulful romp
another full day of music