At 78, Woody Allen is still churning out a new film every year, and I continue to enjoy just about everything he makes. Magic in the Moonlight is no exception, despite unfavourable reviews from most critics.
Magic in the Moonlight stars Colin Firth as Stanley, a famous magician in the 1920’s who is frequently called upon to expose fraudulent spiritualists. That’s what happens here as Stanley’s friend Howard (Simon McBurney) invites Stanley to southern France to expose a young woman named Sophie (Emma Stone). Stanley, who is engaged to be married, finds himself strangely drawn to Sophie. Various complications and twists ensue in this rather lighthearted romantic drama.
It’s all quite predictable and the characters and plot are not at all believable (thus the unfavourable reviews), but Magic in the Moonlight is still a lot of fun to watch. That’s because Firth and Stone do an excellent job with their poorly-developed characters, the score is wonderful, the cinematography gorgeous and, always a draw for me, the dialogue is very intelligent in that witty Allen way (and there’s lots of dialogue, as one would expect in an Allen film).
So Magic in the Moonlight gets a solid ***. My mug is up.