Cast: Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Simon McBurney, Catherine McCoramack, Eileen Atkins, Hamish Linklater
Every fan of Woody Allen knows that he has four types of film styles. The modern comedy, ala Vicky Cristina Barcelona, the sardonic and slightly surreal flick like Mighty Aphrodite, the mysteries, and my favorite, the comedic period pieces. Magic in the Moonlight falls into the last category, set in the 20’s.
Colin Firth stars as Stanley/Wei Ling Soo, a stage Magician who debunks Psychics and Mediums in his spare time. A devout atheist who thrills at exposing the frauds who would pray on the weak, and hopeful. Set in his cynicism, he is called up by his dear friend and fellow Magician, Howard Burkan (Simon McBurney), to see through the smoke and mirrors of a gifted young Medium named Sophie, played by Emma Stone. Sophie has the rich in her thrall, and before too long, manages to crack the derisive veneer of the Master Magician.
Firth plays his signature Mr. Darcy-esque character, with an extra helping of pompousness, that though seen before, blends well into the story line. Emma Stone is a fantastic fresh face to be added to Woody Allen’s list of leading ladies. Stone is wide eyed, but not simple, like some of his female characters in past flicks. Woody’s women tend to be innocent and a little too naive, or hard and feminist to a fault. Sophie is neither, just a charming, witty and down right lovely.
In fact, charming is the best adjective to describe the movie as a whole. Magic in the Moonlight is another Allen film that captures the feel that enchants the “Golden Age thinker.” So, if you have had your fill of the sci-fi blockbuster, or over the top action flicks that have saturated the silver screen this summer, take a look at this clever little comedy.