Quick Fire Review: Magic In The Moonlight

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Here’s The Trailer

Who is in it?

Colin “I really am rather posh” Firth, Emma “I really am rather quirky” Stone, Dame Eileen “Can anyone look at her without remembering that she turned down Colin Farrell for a jump” Atkins, Simon “Hey it’s That Guy” McBurney  and a highly competent supporting cast including Oscar nominees Marcia Gay Harden and Jackie Weaver as a stunning, blonde widow.

What is it about?

A reknowned magician and debunker of fraudulent mediums struggles to unmask a charming mystic in the South of France

Why did I want to watch it?

The inevitable Oscar nomination (screenwriting) and my friend is a huge fan of Woody Allen.  Otherwise I might have been happy to wait for the dvd.

Did I like it?

It was whimsically charming, and a very nice way to spend a Sunday.

Should you watch it?

This lifted my spirits in a way I hadn’t expected. I giggled a lot during the film and after Blue Jasmine this was a welcome relief.  The comedy is in the deft performance by Colin Firth’s austere and arrogant Stanley and his interplay with Emma Stone’s engaging Sophie.  Also some truly terrible ukulele playing is played for laughs in the most delightful way.  It won’t go down as anything extraordinary but it’s certainly not terrible.

Does it pass the Bechdel Test?  http://bechdeltest.com/

It does, several times, my favourite probably being all the exchanges between Sophie’s highly calculating mother and the contrastingly trusting  Mrs Cattlidge.

Other films it reminds me of:

Easy Virtue & The Importance of Being Earnest. Well they both star Colin Firth and are set in the 20s.  Woody Allen is clearly trying to evoke Oscar Wilde and Noel Coward and is quite successful to a degree.  I thought it would remind me of Midnight in Paris but that was a more raucous affair, this was very restrained.

Watch this instead/as well/before/after:

An Ideal Husband.  By far and away my favourite 20’s set farce has to be the 1999 film led by an inimitable Rupert Everett.

ELC

Quick Fire Review…Stoker

Mia “my 3rd favourite Jane Eyre” WasikowskaStoker Film Poster

Nicole “who’d have though her career would last this long after Far & Away” Kidman

Matthew “not watched A Single Man yet – he is one of many reaons you should” Goode

Jacki “Don’t mess with this grandma” Weaver

What is it about?

After India’s father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him. Sometimes families can be a little too close.

Why did I want to watch it?

Oldboy is a magnificently macabre and violent psycholocial drama, and in fact the entire Vengeance trilogy is must see cinema so I was intrigued by the first English Language outing by Chan-Wook Park.  It’s also scripted by Wentworth Miller of Prison Break fame and was picked up off The Black List – which is a compilation of most liked unproduced scripts in a given year.

Did I like it?

Largely.  I’ve read that there was pressure from the studio to change the films original ending and it shows.  Whilst the ending is lacklustre, Chan-Wook Park’s visual flair and general creepiness are used to magnificent effect throughout the rest of the film, leaving you uncomfortable in several places, but unable to tear your eyes away from the screen.  The studio changes do make me fear even more for the proposed Spike Lee directed remake of Oldboy.

Should you watch it?

Yep, not top of the pile but definitely  one to get around too.  Also if you are a fan of a pair of fine eyes – Matthew Goode is suitably too-handsome-to-be-wholesome.

Other films it reminds me of:

Cronos would make an excellent double bill with it.

Watch this instead/as well/before/after:

Watch the Vengeance Trilogy: Sympathy For Mr Vengeance, Oldboy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance after Stoker to see what Chan-Wook Park can really do!

ELC