He did it again! Woody Allen is undoubtedly one of the greats, but his style and flavour don’t always appeal to the masses. His newest gem, however, has a light heartedness to it (not unlike his movie Scoop) that everyone can fall in love with.
Just as Blue Jasmine was seemingly written with Cate Blanchett in mind, it is impossible to imagine anyone other than Colin Firth playing the cynical magician Stanley Crawford in Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight. Early on in the film, Stanley is tasked with debunking a young psychic medium’s claim that she can communicate with the dead and predict the future. He soon becomes enthralled by her abilities and can’t seem to crack the case. Emma Stone plays the lovely Sophie who appears to be using her talents to work her way into a prominent family residing in the beautiful French Riviera. While Stone’s performance compliments Firth’s, there is no denying his ability to captivate the audience with his delivery of often pessimistic and mocking sentiments, all the while remaining completely loveable. You watch Stanley’s view of life unravel before your eyes as he struggles to accept the idea of an afterlife as well as another foreign quality of life….happiness. Having been unashamedly logical and certain of everything in his life, this seemingly unsolvable mystery changes everything.
Like most Woody Allen films, the plot is simple and easy to follow; it’s the writing and the characters that make the movie an absolute delight to watch. Magic in the Moonlight has the air of an older film (it is set in the 1920’s after all) where witty dialogue, a cleverly placed twist, and a satisfying ending are the key components. While the location is undeniably lovely, there is no elaborate set design and the costumes suit the time period but do not distract from the rest of the film. The balance is perfect.
At just over an hour and a half, the length of the film is ideal. Unlike other summer movies, it is one that can easily be fit into a weekday evening after work and won’t leave you emotionally or physically drained. It is virtually a guarantee that you will be grinning like an idiot throughout the entire thing, so the most you will leave with are sore cheeks.