“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Woody Allen film in theaters before. My feelings towards him tend to be pretty mixed. I respect him as a filmmaker for several reasons, the first being how prolific he is. Writing and directing a film every single year for however many years he’s kept it up is not a feat to sneeze at. He also has a tone and style that is very uniquely his own. You can watch a scene and just know that it’s written by Allen. However, I don’t always tend to like his stuff. I like being able to recognize it, and I appreciate it for that quality, but more often than not I get bored halfway thru. The style wears thin or the plot loses me. With such a quick turnaround rate for new films of his, they do tend to be polarizingly hit or miss. Consensus on Magic seems to put this firmly in the miss.
I thought the idea behind it was really cute, which is why I felt I should give it a chance. We’re back in the roaring 20’s where Colin Firth plays a famous magician who’s known for exposing fakes in the industry. He’s invited to a home in the south of France where a family has taken in a young girl, Emma Stone, who claims to be a medium. Firth is hellbent on exposing her, but gets increasingly frustrated as disproving her becomes more and more difficult as he starts finding her more and more charming.
And yes, like most Allen films tend to do for me, it eventually got kinda old. I figured out how it would all end pretty early on. Some characters were a little too over the top to be realistic. Somewhere along the line things just stopped being interesting.
However, the saving grace of the film (though only enough to make it watchable) was our leading actors. Emma Stone, known and loved in Hollywood for her adorable spunk, has never been more adorable or spunkier. Her big bright eyes draw you in, and she savors every moment she has you under her spell. From some of his dialog, you could sorta tell that Firth’s role was the one that Allen would have imagined for himself back in the day. What I loved about his performance, though, was that he really did put his own spin on the performance. You could still hear Allen’s tone, but it was all Firth’s style. Fully committed to the role he did his best to try and breathe life into the lifeless film he attempted to carry.
After it was over, I texted the BFFF. I told him how much he’d love Emma Stone in this movie, but that otherwise the film was rather dull and lacking. As far as a more general recommendation to my greater readership, I’d say pretty much the same thing. Stone and Firth give wonderful performances, so if you’re big on them, it could be worth a watch. Otherwise, eh. And if you’re diehard for Woody Allen then I’m sure you already had this on your calendar as you do every other year.
Magic in the Moonlight – \m/ \m/ \n”