Magic in the Moonlight USA 2014 – 98min.
Magic in the Moonlight
1928. A renowned magician, Stanley Crawford has become famous as “Chinaman” Wei Ling Soo, a man who puts on great spectacles. Convinced there is no magic in the world, only illusions, Stanley is invited by his magician friend Howard Burkan to the Côte d’Azur, where a charming young woman named Sophie Baker has convinced the Catledges, a rich American family, that she is a medium. Stanley’s undercover mission: to get close to Sophie and expose her as a fraud. But he quickly finds himself falling for her charms even as he is unable to explain her incredible talents …
To paraphrase Forrest Gump, Woody Allen’s career is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get. The under-estimated You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, the over-estimated but likable Midnight in Paris, the mediocre To Rome With Love, the excellent Blue Jasmine, and now the anecdotal Magic in the Moonlight takes him again to France – without a single French actor. A simple romantic comedy hidden behind Roaring Twenties costumes and cars, this story about magic is at second glance bogged down by its lack of imagination. What starts off as an amusing hour thanks to the energy of Colin Firth and Emma Stone, who is irresistible as the medium, then flounders, stalled by a boring story filled with old tricks. The upside: Emma Stone will reunite with Woody Allen in his next movie, a contemporary love story also starring Joaquin Phoenix.