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REVIEW: Magic In The Moonlight

Colin Firth  does his Mr. Darcy thing,  playing a  renowned Chinese illusionist who in real life is a stuffy,  smug , condescending  Brit named  Stanley  who, as a sideline,  exposes the entertaining frauds of the roaring  20’s:  psychics who claim to communicate with the dead. He’s set on exposing a beautiful, young American  psychic who has been living with an incredibly wealthy  family in the French Riviera.

 A luminous Emma Stone is Sophie . She’s bathed in so much light, she practically sparkles .   Rather than exposing her, Stanley is mesmerized by her gift and her charms.   This being a Woody Allen movie, the issue of their 28 year age difference is never mentioned  by  either one , much less the observers around them.

In a very small role,  Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden plays the momager, not that they called it that back in the 20’s.   Fellow Oscar winner Jacki Weaver is the American matriarch who hires Sophie  for séances.    80 year old Dame Eileen Atkins  plays Stanley’s beloved  Aunt Vanessa, who raised him and still gently guides him.

You know  from  the beginning how this one ends but it’s so much fun to watch.  This movie is all Colin Firth.  He’s completely unlikeable and  sharp-as-a-razor funny.  The film is positively gorgeous.  From the scenery to the clothes, all washed in a golden light. 

 It’s not be one of Woody Allen’s most important films, like last year’s Oscar-winning “Blue Jasmine”  .    And it’s no “Annie Hall”.  Then again, will there ever be another “Annie Hall”???  But if you’re a Woody Allen fan,  you’ll find few complaints with his latest  once a year offering.  It’s fluff but highly entertaining fluff. 

 

3 stars

 

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