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Woody Allen's "Magic In The Moonlight" Reviewed

Woody's rom com

Woody’s rom com

“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.

Grade: A



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