After the success and acclaim of Woody Allen’s last two films, Blue Jasmine (2013), and Midnight in Paris (2011), Allen has missed the mark with his latest film, Magic in the Moonlight. The movie stars Colin Firth as Stanley, the great magician “Wei Ling Soo”, who is a true pessimist that finds great pleasure in debunking Psychic Mediums. The Medium he is trying to unmask this time is the incredibly upbeat Sophie Baker, played by Emma Stone.
The movie began similar to a classic 1920’s film, with the credits rolled over a black screen. Magic felt like an awkward throwback to the 1920’s in cinema; the staging of the actors, the writing, and the sets all felt like a stage play rather than a movie. Many of the elements simply felt stiff or too overdone.
It is unfortunate and uncreative of Allen to return to France in the 1920’s; the same time and setting of most of Midnight in Paris. In many ways, Magic seemed to be resting on the shoulders of Midnight, not just because of the plot, but also because Magic’s score was incredibly similar to that of Midnight’s. For Magic in the Moonlight the soundtrack failed to be unique and became extremely repetitive.
The worst offense Allen has committed against the audience is the fact that the 97 minute film felt much more like 120 minutes, which did not support the script or pacing of the movie.
The one positive I can say about Magic, is that the cinematography is absolutely breathtaking. Darius Khondji did a fantastic job bringing us into the world of the 1920’s South of France.
Overall, Magic in the Moonlight felt immature and disappointing. There were some charming moments but they were not enough to make up for all of the film’s shortcomings. It’s safe to say you can save yourself some time and money by skipping this movie.
So I realized something. I may not be writing as many reviews as I normally do, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still reviewing. I’m going to post videos of my review show, Appropriate Audiences, which I both produce and host so you all can finally get some reviews again. Hope you enjoy.
I haven’t been posting.
I just haven’t been able to go to the movies lately.
I’ll start doing some throwback Thursday reviews.
Thank you so much for sticking with me and still following me.
My mom really only likes comedies and romantic movies but I wanted to go see Mud and to get her out of the house so she surprisingly agreed to come with me.
Mud stars Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon but the movie really revolves around two young boys who find the fugitive Mud, played by Matthew McConaughey and agree to help him connect with the love of his life, Juniper, played by Reese Witherspoon.
I went into the film assuming the movie was about Mud but it is so much more. It’s about the time when children learn that love is not all they think it is as the main little boy’s parents go through a separation, he gets his heartbroken by a girl at school, and even Mud and Juniper’s relationship isn’t all it seems. It’s that moment when you’re a kid and you realize everything Disney has told you about love is much more complicated.
I thought that was an absolutely brilliant lesson and the way it was delivered through the boy willing to do anything to help Mud because Mud is in love. Mud’s love is so important to the boy because then his definition of love isn’t completely destroyed. However, all of the events with Mud force the boy to reevaluate what love actually is and be okay with this change.
The best friend to the boy is brilliant by his willingness to stick by his friend through everything and really shows what it means to be a best friend. The writer/director Jeff Nichols did a wonderful job showing how children will help someone in need regardless of circumstance. Children do not judge. If someone needs help then they help. I loved the innocence and the spirit the two boys had.
Michael Shannon was incredible as always as the best friend’s uncle. He could have easily been absent and uncaring as an uncle who was stuck with his brother’s kid but instead he compassionate. watchful, and an incredible guardian. Not to mention, his constant innovation to make diving for clams easier was just awesome and showed how unassumingly smart he is.
The cast was perfect and the characters were incredibly complex and well-rounded. It was refreshing to have a story full of characters that could totally exist in the real world.
If you ever get the chance in the future, go see this movie. Seriously. Although it’s a small, indie film, it’s one of the best ones that have come out this summer. And my mom loved (and she never likes anything like this).