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Critics reviews
Magic in the Moonlight
Woody Allen United States, 2014
Magic in the Moonlight is talky, lacking in truly standout scenes and could’ve used another rewrite – but Woody Allen has figured out something important: hire good actors, let them do their thing, give them literate lines to speak and a strong central premise to focus their energy, and you’ve got yourself a civilised entertainment.
September 01, 2014
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Stone doesn’t overdo anything — she’s daffy and cunning. You don’t know whether she’s running a con. Actually, yes you do. You just don’t care. But the movie runs out of ideas for her character. Sophie and Stanley appear to be in a belief-oriented arm-wrestling match that you want her to win. But her character gets dumber and dumber the further from her gift she gets.
August 19, 2014
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…One such revelatory performance is that of Emma Stone in Woody Allen’s “Magic in the Moonlight.” It’s a star-making performance in the exemplary sense: it reveals the essence of movie stardom and, in doing so, lends the movie greater substance and emotional power than the story alone summon.
August 14, 2014
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While Allen’s new picture, “Magic In The Moonlight,” isn’t even close to being a disaster (for that, see, well, “Scoop”), I don’t think it’s unreasonable to note that, in my estimation, it’s where Allen’s latest streak…well, let’s not say “ends.” Let’s be moderate and say “ebbs.” Don’t get me wrong, much of “Magic In The Moonlight” is a pleasure to experience, particularly if you’re an aficionado of the sort of sophisticated, neurosis-laden romantic comedy that counts as one of Allen’s specialties…
July 25, 2014
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It’s difficult to find any ground from which to defend Allen’s alternately tedious, offensive and incompetent new romantic comedy “Magic in the Moonlight,” unless it’s the exquisite 1920s wardrobes.
July 24, 2014
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While there’s an almost inherent frothiness in any film about the capriciousness of attraction, it’s tough to avoid the autobiographical echo in this love triangle, a resonance that gives Magic In The Moonlight an off-putting, solipsistic air. Firth and Stone are terrific, but they’re cast as screwball leads. Given only intermittent opportunities for levity, the two end up serving as mouthpieces for Allen’s dubious self-justifications.
July 24, 2014
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Obviousness is to some extent the point of Magic in the Moonlight, which doesn’t merely wax nostalgic about its 1920s France setting, a la Midnight in Paris, but rather resembles an artifact of the period itself. In plot and visual vernacular, it’s a doppelganger for the proto-screwball romantic comedies of Hollywood’s Golden Age, and the result is an easy-to-swallow piece of confectionary cinema.
July 21, 2014
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A quintessential “late” work from a filmmaker who has, in his waining and controversial years, become less of an artist than he is an institution, this new one finds Woody Allen effortlessly regurgitating his most familiar modes and tropes with such élan that the movie’s mediocrity ends up being its greatest charm.
July 18, 2014
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…It’s one of Allen’s most charmingly conceived and performed efforts… It feels as if it could have been written in the heyday of Old Hollywood—a blithe lark that digs deep at the most unexpected times, as in a terrific scene in which agnostic Stanley dithers his way through a prayer.
July 18, 2014
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What interests Allen more is the ideological tug of war that erupts in Firth’s erstwhile man of reason, whom one character describes as “a perfect depressive with everything sublimated into his art.” Maybe, just maybe, “Magic in the Moonlight” suggests, a little self-delusion is necessary in order to make life bearable… Whenever Firth and Stone are onscreen together, the movie sings; the rest of the time it’s never less than a breezy divertissement.
July 17, 2014
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