How can the same man direct and write such an ultra award winning film like Blue Jasmine (2013) and then direct and write such “sugar coated claptrap” as Magic in the Moonlight (2014). I suppose it’s my fault expecting so much from Woody Allen’s new project, why was I so surprised that he had descended back to the level of the disappointing Midnight in Paris (2011) or his labouring farce You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010). Even the normally competent Colin Firth could not pull the amateur script out of its cheesy mire!
Set in 1928 the story involves a globally famous illusionist (Firth) who has been asked by a friend to expose a medium who has duped a very rich family who reside in indecent spender on the Cote d’Azur. Both the son and his mother believe that Sophie Baker, a very weak Emma Stone, has supernatural powers, the son Brice, played by a ukulele strumming Hamish Linklater, offers to marry her and promises her personnel riches beyond her wildest dreams while mother Grace, a very disappointing performance by the normally excellent Jacki Weaver, promises Sophie the money to set up a school for psychics if she can put her in touch with her dead husband. The story revolves around whether Sofie will be exposed and will she fall in love with the misanthrope who has been sent to unmask her. The real question is do we really care, none of Allen characters are anywhere near likable - even Sophie!
The beautiful settings can’t disguise the weaknesses in this dreadful movie, I’m sure that you would get a far better production of this quite stagey narrative from your local amateur dramatic group at the church hall, the acting is as frightful as the weak script. Give this a miss!!