The annual Allen returns with a 1920s tale of a commercially hard-nosed magician (Firth) lured to the South of France to expose a delightful young American medium (Stone). Can passion trump reason? Might there be life after death? Questions that Allen ventilates (again) in perfect pageantry on retro-hued 35mm film. Invoking its titular atmospherics, the film meanders entertainingly between cynicism and charm but ultimately flounders in the concept of elusive illusionism that it set out to explore.
Magic in the Moonlight | Directed by Woody Allen (USA 2014) with Colin Firth, Emma Stone. Starts December 4
Originally published in issue #133, December 2014.