Movie Review: Magic in the Moonlight

Other than Michael Bay, Woody Allen would be the director I roll my eyes at the most. I’ve always found the overrated director’s work pretentious, whiny and above all just not funny. Add in Allen’s creepy personal life and it usually spells a disastrous review from yours truly. That being said, I can’t dismiss the cute and quirky Magic in the Moonlight starring Emma Stone and the fabulous Colin Firth.

Firth stars as Stanley, paranormal debunker who is also moonlighting as the world-famous illusionist Wei Ling Soo. Stanley is brought in by a business acquaintance to stop a possible hoax that could swindle a family out of their fortune. Emma Stone plays the presumed psychic at the center of Magic in the Moonlight. Once again Stone proves that she’s America’s new movie sweetheart. Stone is cute and irresistible as Sophie. Even Firth’s Stanley, who is the biggest skeptic of all, begins to fall for the mysterious young woman. What ever you think of Allen personally, the guy knows how to bring the best out of his actresses in his films.

Stone is adorable, but what drives Magic in the Moonlight is the always reliable Colin Firth. Firth continues to show he’s one of the most subtle actors at giving a dominant performance. You want to hate the arrogant Stanley as he rudely pokes holes through Sophie’s ability, but you end up rooting for him to uncover the possible ruse. I’d say the only hang up with Firth’s performance was completely out of his control: the casting. I can’t buy that a girl like Stone and a man of Firth’s age would end up together. Although we shouldn’t be surprised with the casting decision considering Allen’s love of young women. You know it’s true.

I’m sure you can guess what I think of Allen as a human being, but there is no denying the charm of Magic in the Moonlight. That being said, if I liked Magic in the Moonlight, fans of Allen’s work should go bonkers for it. The cinematography is beautiful and Allen’s style gives the film an old-time feel. Mix this with the undeniable performances by Stone and Firth and you get something rare; a Woody Allen film I actually liked.

Overall, I give Magic in the Moonlight 3 out of 4 stars.

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