Monday, August 18, 2014

Magic in the Moonlight

Director: Woody Allen

Starring: Colin Firth, Simon McBurney, Emma Stone, Gay Harden, Jackie Weaver, Hamish Linklater, Erica Leerhsen

A French farce set in the 1930s. Stanley Crawford (Colin Firth) is a celebrated British magician who performs under the moniker Wei Ling Soo. Off stage the narcistic illusionist despises fake psychics and spends his time exposing faux spiritualists. When his friend, Howard Burkan (Simon McBurney) discovers his wealthy relatives living on the French Riviera may be under the spell of charismatic charlatan, Sophie Baker (Emma Stone), and her mother (Marcia Gay Harden), he calls Stanley for help. The family matriarch (Jackie Weaver) is trying to contact the spirit of her dearly departed husband. Try as Stanley might he cannot find fault with the enigmatic medium and inevitably falls under her spell. Great performances from the cast and superb photography from Darius Khondji captures the mood perfectly. The only drawback here is the tardy script, but it is a Woody Allen movie and a charming one for all that.

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