News

REVIEW: There’s little ‘Magic’ in this ‘Moonlight’

REVIEW: There’s little ‘Magic’ in this ‘Moonlight’

Photo: YouTube

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance | Run Time: 97 min | Rated: PG-13
Director: Woody Allen | Starring: Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Hamish Linklater

By: George Wolf of Maddwolf.com

I don’t know how productive you’ve been this week, but Woody Allen finished three more screenplays before lunchtime on Tuesday.

The man just keeps cranking them out, which is good, because the sooner there’s another charmer like Midnight in Paris, the sooner we can just forgive the dud that is Magic in the Moonlight.

Allen continues the world traveling we’ve seen in his recent scripts, setting the latest in France near the end of the roaring twenties.

Master illusionist Stanley (Colin Firth) has agreed to help his old friend and fellow magician Howard (Simon McBurney) in the quest to expose a scam artist. A young cutie named Sophie (Emma Stone) has been passing herself off as a clairvoyant, completely captivating a rich American family living on the French Riviera.

It seems Howard has observed Sophie’s “gift” in action, and hasn’t been able to pick up on the tricks she’s employing, but Stanley, full of smug conceit, is confident he’ll expose her in no time.

The rest goes pretty much as you’d expect, which would be fine if the film delivered even a hint of what the title promises. There’s no magic here, regardless of how hard Stone and Firth try to muster it.

It’s more contrived than charming, more forced than fun. Character development is kept to the bare minimum, apparently to leave more room for banter that snaps loud and says very little.

Throughout his storied career, Allen has often played with different genres and styles of filmmaking, and even when the results fall short, the ambition is commendable. Magic in the Moonlight is his attempt to marry the wit of Noel Coward with the inspiration of George Bernard Shaw.

OK, worthy idea, but the result feels like he lost interest half way though.

So did I.

Verdict-2-0-Stars

Read more reviews by George Wolf and Hope Madden on Maddwolf.com.

Latest Headlines

in Entertainment

You can be on ‘House of Cards’

Fresh
houseofcards

It's your chance to be part of a Washington scandal, and you don't even have to bribe a member of Congress.

in Lifestyle

Amazon launching free, same-day delivery

Fresh
amazon

The online retailer wants to make your impulse buys even more impulsive.

in Lifestyle

Is rent out of reach? Study shows how 11 US cities stack up

Fresh
riseinrent

A new study finds renters are on the rise in America's biggest cities, but many tenants are scrambling to keep up with growing rent bills and shrinking vacancies.

in Lifestyle

PHOTOS: Last Chance Corral lets orphaned foals thrive

Fresh
AP986570934729_4

The 2.75-acre horse rescue farm says it has saved thousands of foals and full-grown horses over the past three decades.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: He said what?

Fresh
13-overlay6

This isn't exactly the answer "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek was looking for.