Magic in the Moonlight (2014) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: A romantic comedy about an Englishman brought in to help unmask a possible swindle. Personal and professional complications ensue. Runtime: 97 mins Release Date: 15 Aug 2014
A wonderful film that leaves you reflective and happy. (by pgsturges)
This is a GREAT FILM. I read some of the tepid reviews, went anyway, LOVED it. Woody, as always, deals with big subjects lightly, the question here: is there magic in the world? Is there more to life than meets the eye? I don't know what you believe, but Woody says there is. I went right along with him.As far as movie-making is concerned, Woody shows he hasn't lost a step. Clues are deftly scattered, parallels emerge, the expected happens in unexpected ways, it's delightful. Woody speaks to our hearts and minds simultaneously. Colin Firth is terrific; spot-on, serious and <more>
hilariously dry by turns. His character reminded me a little of Professor Higgins in "My Fair Lady." A man confident in his own superior knowledge - until he encounters real magic - the kind of magic all of us have the possibility of experiencing.Emma Stone is revealed as an actress of easy and convincing grace. Of course, she's beautiful, too, which is never a disadvantage. Both Miss Stone's and Mr. Firth's characters are so well drawn you can't imagine anyone doing it better. If you're old enough to have lived a little, this film will appeal to you. If you are currently loving Ninja Turtles, this piece of inspiring magic will sail over your head. Bravo to Woody and his tremendous cast. Well done, ladies and gentlemen.
"I believed that the dull reality of life is all there is but you are proof that there is more! More mystery! More magic! (by jan_kalina)
I guess everyone of us had that moment in life when we realized that life isn't as magical as we had pictured it. That sometimes you can't talk yourself into believing something supernatural, something magical, but deep down you want to believe. What if you were finally convinced that there is more to the world than meets the eye? That is what happens to another at heart typical Woody Allen character Stanley, this time played by Colin Firth and he brings his English cynicism into the role. Known as debunker of myths and psychics he is enlisted by an friend to the French Riviera to <more>
prove a woman, that everyone is believing is a clairvoyant, to be fraud. As more time he spends with this woman Stanley starts to believe that she might be the real deal. and with that he is also turning into a nice person all of a sudden. Now that he's got something to believe in.Colin Firth is as usual cool as a cucumber but this he is actually likable and quite funny thanks to the always funny dialogue penned by Allen. Emma Stone is cute and funny as always. But what is real beautiful is the scenery of the French Riviera and the cinematography of Darius Khondji who has managed to capture the essence of Paris, Rome and now the south of France.The usual Wody Allen themes are quite prominent but still wrapped in this pleasant summer fare. Allen does get to tackle religion, belief, magic, the vast size of the universe and of course the unpredictability of love. Woody Allen is of the opinion that most of his films aren't perfect, that he never got to make the film he wanted. He has stated that only three of his films are as he envisioned them. In my opinion most of his films are perfect and flawless.
Woody Allen's 45th film in as many years, the wondrously poetic yet intellectually dazzling "Magic in the Moonlight", proves once again that he is the greatest living American director. Virtually without peer, besides the prodigious output, no one moves as effortlessly between styles and genres while still managing to grapple with the usual existential themes in new and exciting ways: is love really real, magical vs. rational thinking, cynicism vs. optimism. Like the master magician here played so brilliantly by Colin Firth, he manages to use illusion to ensnare you, to keep you <more>
guessing at the outcome despite his classicist's adherence to form and tradition. But like an artist, he is also as enthralled as we, as lost in the journey, as anxious about the final determination of the question of life's purpose and meaning or complete lack of it. Once again he proves that he is both right and wrong in his cynical outlook on life, that rationality and irrationality can coexist perfectly, that one cannot judge or evaluate the other fairly as neither has a framework to understand the other. Absurd and frothy on the one hand, nuanced and emotional on the other, it manages to be at once a light, popular entertainment and great work of cinematic art.
Magical, what else? Lovely story, great acting, beautiful sets, shall I go on? (by inkblot11)
Stanley Colin Firth is a famous magician in the Roaring Twenties Europe. He performs in a Chinese costume, the rage at the time. Yes, he is great. But, he is a little dictator to the rest of his crew, spewing out orders right and left. One day, an old friend, Howard Simon McBurney , also a magician but not quite as well known, comes for a visit. Its more than a friendly chat. Howard brings word about a young medium named Sophie Emma Stone who he, Howard, believes is hoodwinking a wealthy family who lives in the south of France. However, Howard has seen her in action and CANNOT discover <more>
her secret. Could Stanley come and investigate? Ho ho, indeed he can, for in addition to magical tricks, our Stanley loves unmasking frauds who claim to have paranormal powers when everyone KNOWS there is no such thing. There is no spirit world, no afterlife, no ghosts, etc. That's what Stanley firmly believes and he has ripped off the disguise of many a huckster. So, to France the two go. Yet, Stanley is about to face a formidable foe. He finds Sophie beautiful, intelligent, and gifted. In addition, after seeing her in action, Stanley is aghast to discover that he can't understand her talents either, especially after she tells him some of Stanley's family secrets. This man runs to the home of his nearby aunt Eileen Atkins and plots how to further the cast. Will Sophie be found to be, gulp, the genuine item? Is there a paranormal world? This lovely film has it all, my view. It has a great story, with many a memorable line. Allen is surely the best screenwriter of all eternity. Then, the actors are terrific. Firth and Stone are dazzling stars while McBurney, Marcia Gay Harden, Atkins, Jackie Weaver, and all of the rest give terrific support. Next, the scenery is the kind to put your eyes out while the costumes, cinematography, and lively direction make for a most enjoyable film. My only criticism is that Firth and Stone are too far apart in age to really be a romantic couple, especially with Stone made to look as young as possible. Nevermind, because its not really important. What's important is that YOU go see these magical film before the next moon rises.
Greetings from Lithuania."Magic in the Moonlight" 2014 is pure Woody Allen - sharp, smart writing; small, intimate settings and great actors doing there best. The story of "Magic in the Moonlight" is very simple and yet very involving. If you liked recent Woody Allen pictures, you will definitely will like this one. It's not a pure comedy rather than an very enjoyable picture - predictable, because it doesn't wasn't to invent the wheel.Overall, if you like Woody Allen - "Magic in the Moonlight" is for you. It's not the best of his, but a very <more>
well this was one of those films which intrigued me from the trailer, it looked to be a bit out of the ordinary and a more up market type comedy drama. I am so glad i persevered, as the whole film was a real delight to watch and had that cozy feeling helped by the lavish detail of that period. It had the feel of an Agatha Christie set but it cut its own path and delivered something refreshingly new. Colin Firth was truly excellent as the cantankerous, stubborn, pompous intellectual albeit you felt strangely protective about him. Emma Stone also acted wonderfully and was really engaging in her <more>
romantic role. To cap it off Eileen Atkins brought an old world wisdom to the screen and how we would all like to have an aunt like her. So if you love a good story well told, solid acting and some fantastic backdrops, you will have an entertaining time watching this, so enjoy it, as these sort of gems don't come along every day.
A Widely and Profoundly Misunderstood Gem (by emvan)
Most viewers are taking this film as a conventional and admittedly entirely predictable romantic comedy which happens to be about a magician who debunks fake spirit mediums, and a beautiful young woman whom he believes is just that. But that's getting it *entirely backwards*. It is in fact a thought-provoking exploration of the extreme materialistic worldview -- the view that holds that modern science has eliminated the possibility of the existence of the soul, an afterlife, and God -- and an exploration of the psychological relationship between embracing that worldview, and being <more>
pessimistic and unhappy. As such, it is one of Allen's most personal and thought-provoking films in years.And if that sounds "heavy," the miracle of the movie is its very lightness. Obviously, the themes enter in so effortlessly that many people are missing them entirely! You need to be interested in the tension between the materialist worldview and the conventional one that accommodates the spiritual and the mysterious, but if you are, you will be astonished at how delightful and entertaining an exploration of those deep themes can be.The age discrepancy between Frith's and Stone's characters, which I am sure will bother many, is in fact completely necessary: he must be old enough to be set in his pessimistic ways, and she must be young and beautiful enough to challenge them at first sight.Obviously there are happy atheists and there are miserable spiritual people, so the question that Allen is asking here is whether some unhappy atheists have embraced the soul- and God-denying position too vigorously, as a sort of defense mechanism to shield themselves from the fundamentally irrational possibility of falling in love. The way the movie knits together the materialist / spiritualist question, the possibility of love, and the metaphor of magic -- well, it's sheer magic itself.This is far from Allen's funniest movie, and it's only a 7/10 as entertainment. But not only does it easily gain an extra point for its depth, it almost gains two. Admittedly, I am fascinated by the movie's themes, but I think that anyone who is interested in them may find themselves as charmed and, ultimately, as deeply moved as I was. 89/100.
The basic story line/plot was the solid foundation for a very entertaining combination of very well-written dialog, a well-defined believable group of characters, fabulous interior and exterior period 1928 scenery, exquisite period costuming and music, and a terrific cast that brought it all to life.Of particular note was the role of the aunt, so charmingly underplayed by a truly delightful veteran English actress. Her affected portrayal left me wanting more of her character she'd be a welcome as-is walk-on for Downton Abbey .The philosophic question regarding happiness that the story <more>
line raises had just the right subtle amplitude to leave one pondering, the humor fit the time period and the characters, and the whole tone and content of the movie had a lightness that elevated it's entertainment value.A terrific and not often seen example of well-paced and entertaining story telling.
In romance between illusionists the skeptic falls for the fraud (by maurice_yacowar)
Magic in the Moonlight may be a minor Allen but it's a superbly accomplished work. It revisits the themes of A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy. As Stanley, Colin Firth supplants Jose Ferrer as the hidebound believer in only the material reality. This Stanley is an upper class version of the Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire which Allen drew upon for his previous Blue Jasmine -- see separate blogs . As Sophie Emma Stone plays the Mia Farrow waif who evokes the magic of a higher reality and love. The film opens in 1928 Berlin, the heady cabaret days that will soon metastasize into the <more>
Nazi conflagration. The formally suited audience for Stanley's faux-Orientalist magic show and the glittery ball later in France exemplify the flippant pleasures that distract us from our mortality — and in this case the imminent war. Since Annie Hall Allen has reminded us that everything we do is a reaction to our sense of our mortality. There the cited text was Ernest Becker's The Denial of Death; here it's Nietszche. Hence the songs "I'll Get By" and "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows."Stanley is an ironic exercise of Firth's persona as a stuffy, egotistical Englishman Mr Darcy, Bridget Jones' boss who needs a sparky young gal Emma, Bridget to wake him to the pleasures and sense in life. Allen emphasizes Firth's advancing age, his sagging jowls, and even greater priggishness and temper, which make his ultimate realization of his love and need for Sophie all the more dramatic. Critics have complained that Firth and Stone show no sparks, but I'm sure that's Allen's intention. They meet as false fronts, she faking spiritual communication with the dead, he disguising his intention to expose her. Though they spar in the usual Ro Com way ever since Benedick and Beatrice they seem an unlikely couple. He's too committed to the rational and to exposing the fake to recognize any attraction to her until he's told about it. She is too dependent on the commercial success of her fakery and has far more to gain by wedding her besotted moneybags. But there's the song: "You call it madness, I call it love." In the end both choose vulnerability over the delusion of security. Death makes all security delusional. Both also choose honesty. If she were to marry the lad she deceived, her life would be based on a lie. If Stanley rejects her he would deny his need for the emotional connection he has averted all his shallow life. Each discovers in the other a truth about themselves.Allen has long balanced the certain limits on life with the hopes for some fantasy or illusion that will transcend it. As he reiterates here, we need illusions to get us through life, to make our ineluctable mortality bearable. So Stanley makes a career out of being a magician, providing showbiz illusions, and the alliterative parallel Sophie makes her living — with sumptuous prospects now — out of bolstering her gulls with assuring lies from the dead. Stanley's fakery is on stage, Sophie's in life, but both are in the same business, selling illusions. Stanley exposes fraudulent spiritualists because he wants to assure himself there is no spiritual reality beyond our physical world — and to maintain his monopoly on illusionism. Paradoxically, in the last scene when the exposed Sophie reappears in order to give the film its happy romantic ending, her very appearance — in the face of his flat statement that his proposal "offer is off the table" — she shows the kind of intuition and understanding that goes beyond the apparent — what she has been professionally faking. She uses the under the table seance knocks to announce her presence.In the face of death we grab what small pleasures we can find. We attach meaning and importance to things that may not in themselves mean much. Whatever gets us through the night. Stanley realizes his love for Sophie by warmly remembering her smile. In Manhattan Isaac counts young Tracy's smile as one of the beauties that make life worth living. Allen also replays the planetarium scene as a reminder of the vastness which shrinks our lives into specks — and grows our every fugitive pleasure monumental. Sure Allen replays the same themes, scenes, imagery, Dixieland and period pop, but every recombination rings fresh and true — and pleasurable. In fact, Beethoven used the same notes over and over again too and who complains?In quiet observant ways each scene rings true. Stanley rather brusquely converts to believing in Sophie because for all his arch rationalism he has craved a more ethereal beyond, some magic of which his illusionism is a smug parody. He earnestly tries to pray for his aunt's recovery — but can't maintain the pretence. Perhaps the film's most brilliant scene is Stanley's conversation with his marvellous Aunt Vanessa Eileen Atkins . Every line each speaks reaffirms his fiancée Olivia as his ideal mate, yet the conclusion is the reverse, his need for Sophie. Like the material world the words go one way, but like the spiritual life the meaning and the effect work the other.The illusionist Stanley is the Allen figure. As a filmmaker Allen fabricates illusory dramas, making characters and events appear as Stanley makes an elephant disappear and himself reappear. In the melding of reality and illusion Stanley's car trip with Sophie retraces the Grant-Kelly drive in To Catch a Thief. For the world of illusions has its own continuity, like the material world, but with more flex. Obviously the age gap between Stanley and Sophie evokes Allen's controversial gap with his wife and Mia Farrow's with her last two husbands, Frank Sinatra and Andre Previn , but the heart will have its way. And given that we're all dying, why shouldn't we let it?