La Cote d’Azur

Magic in the Moonlight

magic_in_the_moonlight_ver2

Director: Woody Allen

Cast: Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Eileen Atkins, Marcia Gay Harden, Hamish Linklater, Jacki Weaver, Simon McBurney

In the tradition of Bullets over Broadway and The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, director Woody Allen returns to the period piece in the gorgeous and witty Noel Coward inspired drawing room comedy Magic in the Moonlight set on the French Riviera.

After the success of Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen returns to Europe and in a sublime casting match has Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) simply incisive and caustic as Stanley Crawford a cynical British magician who at the request of his friend Howard Burkan travels to the French Riviera to uncover the true intentions of a young and beguiling spiritualist Sophie Baker superbly played by Emma Stone. Naturally Sophie is preying on the good intentions of an extremely wealthy American family who are spending the summer at their villa on the La Cote d’Azur.

With a vibrant dose of jazz, sparkling costumes and vintage cars, Magic in the Moonlight sets the lavish scene for a truly witty melodrama inspired by playwright Noel Coward and definitely influenced by the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald. The year is 1928, a year before the Great Depression and smart society is still abundantly hopeful and rich. This is Tender is the Night without the drama.

bullets_over_broadway_ver1

Sophie has befriended the naïve and wealthy Brice played by Hamish Linklater who at the request of his bejewelled mother, a brief cameo by Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook) invokes the art of séances and acts as a sort of naïve, yet beautiful medium to the dead, more specifically her late husband, a billionaire Pittsburgh industrialist.

Emma Stone is wonderful and crafty as Sophie who soon falls in love with Stanley after a failed trip to Provence whereby the couple are trapped in a celestial observatory to avoid a torrential downfall. There in this observatory they gaze at the moonlight over a luminous Mediterranean sea, a scene which surely inspires the film’s whimsical title.

This is an elegant, witty and utterly charming period piece with Woody Allen writing intelligent and naturally comic dialogue without the angst characteristic of his contemporary American films featuring neurotic Manhattan ramblings.

curse_of_the_jade_scorpion

That’s because in a wise casting decision the famous actor/director does not feature in Magic in the Moonlight and leaves all the brilliant acting to his shining ensemble cast, especially Firth who reverts back to his egotistical slightly arrogant roles that he is so good at playing like Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. Firth delivers the lines with a crisp diction and the best scenes are with him and fellow British thespian Eileen Atkins who gives an astonishing performance as his affectionate but wise Aunt Vanessa.

Magic in the Moonlight is whimsical, beautifully constructed and wonderfully acted in a lovely Sunday afternoon sort of way, showing that Allen can still make films which delight audiences as he sheds the angst and focuses on the inexplicable energy of human society and their coy yet quirky interactions.

Whilst the rest of the cast make up a glittering ensemble, including Marcia Gay Harden, Hamish Linklater and Catherine McCormack, it is really the sparkling onscreen connectivity of Firth and Stone as the two foils of their own deceptions, two semi-sophisticated adults thrown together in paradise whose romance blossoms despite their age difference and respective ambitions.

Magic in the Moonlight evokes a romantic era long since vanished and is highly recommended viewing for those that relish nostalgic cinema.

 

Comments are closed.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
October 2014
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  
  • Chappell Roan Adds New Dates to ‘The Midwest Princess’ Tour
    Chappell Roan will continue to bring “The Midwest Princess” tour to venues across the United States through this fall. Riding high off the success of her Top 10 hit single, “Good Luck, Babe!,” Roan will continue touring with newly-announced dates at the All Things Go festival in Forest Hills, N.Y. on Sept. 28 as well […]
    Thania Garcia
  • You Can Finally Play Xbox Game Pass on the Amazon Fire TV Stick: Save Up to 37% on a Prime Day Bundle
    Although playing video games with an Xbox Series X/S console is one of the best experiences in gaming, it may not be the best experience for those who lack the space in a home entertainment center. However, there’s a simple solution to start playing Xbox games — like Hi-Fi Rush, “Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II,” “Diablo […]
    Rudie Obias
  • FX Garners Most Emmy Nominations in Its History Helped by ‘Shogun’ and ‘The Bear’
    FX is killing it! The top two most nominated series this year came from FX Networks: the dramatic epic “Shōgun” and the comedy series “The Bear,” in addition to two of its network counterparts, “Reservation Dogs” and “What We Do in the Shadows.” Along with noms for limited series “Fargo” and a strong showing in […]
    Clayton Davis
  • Beats’ Wireless Headphones Are Down to $169 – Their Lowest Price Ever
    Amazon is churning out unbeatable deals on their site this week for Prime Day. One of the best deals we’ve scoped out this week? The Beats Studio Pro Wireless Headphones, which are more than half off right now. The deluxe headphones, which normally retail for $350 are down to $169 on Amazon — a massive […]
  • TV Comedy Writers Assess Post-Strike Hollywood: ‘Everybody’s Being Way More Cautious’
    Industry-wide, comedy writers’ rooms have evolved over recent decades for the better, with increased diversity, less unacceptable behavior and wider geographical and technological opportunities returning solid benefits in terms of ratings and audience engagement. Taking a shorter-term temperature feels trickier, given the fallout of the 2023 writers and actors strikes and subsequent downturn in production […]
    Rosemary Rossi
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90