Relaxed, conversational; full of discussions on life and the cosmos; like a Brisseau film sans softcore lesbian sex. Overflowing with subtext. The nature of illusion, performance, identity; characters posing as someone else. Cinema itself is an illusion, full of performances, deceptions, sleight of hand. Lost love drifts in and out as a leitmotif; love as the ultimate magic, conquering cynicism. A little masterpiece.
Magic in the Moonlight is (as befits its title) basically all champagne bubbles, but underneath the ridiculously opulent surface is a genuine, sober interrogation of faith which comes to a fairly Kierkegaardian resolution: faith works if it makes life work, regardless of whatever other considerations enter the picture. Also: desperate rationality and withholding of empathy are all about fear.
Tedious. The trend of Allen following a brilliant picture (Blue Jasmine) with a dud continues with this weak, under-written and miscast comedy. Stone is far from comfortable here and the May-December romance between her and Firth is simply ridiculous. Films only saving grace is the warm cinematography from master Darius Khondji , game turns by Eileen Atkins and Simon McBurney and a brief cameo by Ute Lemper.
It's basically a big fluffy jellybeans-covered pudding of a film, but, hey, it has Colin Firth, and it's very well shot by Khondji. A decent Allen movie. I'm just so glad he didn't make a bollocks out of over-stereotyping my homeground.
Woody Allen hasn't lost his humour, nor his pessimistic philosophy, nor his cinematic abilities: he just got lazy as hell, always recycling himself, film after film. Though better than almost all the films I watched from this year, it is a minor Allen, with very few dramatic ideas and too much discoursive, boring dialogue. Sometimes funny, sometimes beautiful (the scene at the observatory), it is rarely convincing.