Watching Woody Allen’s latest, starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone, is like watching your uncle doing a card trick you’ve seen him do a hundred times. There’s no rabbit in the hat, and no God in heaven. We know, Woody. Magic in the Moonlight: my “Reel Faith” review.
Woody Allen keeps telling us God is dead, but he also keeps compulsively burying him.
It’s a nostalgic film about nostalgia — nostalgia for when Paris was Paris, for one thing. Even if you’ve never been to the City of Light, even if phrases like “the Lost Generation” and “la Belle Époque” hold for you none of the magic they do for Allen, the film makes you feel their power for his onscreen alter ego, appealingly played by Owen Wilson. For that matter, even if you aren’t an Allen fan — even if you aren’t convinced Allen was ever Allen — Midnight in Paris could almost make you nostalgic for the Allen that fans remember, or seem to.
The first shot in Woody Allen’s Match Point is meant to serve as a metaphorical master-image for the film as a whole: a freeze-frame shot of a tennis ball suspended in space over the net after striking it, poised between falling on one side of the net or the other.
Copyright © 2000– Steven D. Greydanus. All rights reserved.