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Review: Magic In The Moonlight

Saturday 11 October 2014

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Words Simon Isles

Following the Oscar-winning triumph Blue Jasmine was never going to be easy. But, considering Woody Allen’s prolific work rate, it’s difficult to properly take fault with Magic In The Moonlight. It’s certainly a lighter affair in every way than Blue Jasmine, and it doesn’t possess any where near the same scorching array of performances. But Magic In The Moonlight, whilst not a perfect film, is certainly an enjoyable watch.

We find Stanley Crawford (Colin Firth), a world class illusionist, enlisted by his old friend and fellow illusionist Howard Burkan (Simon McBurney) to go with him to the Côte d’Azur to unmask clairvoyant and mystic, Sophie (Emma Stone), who has taken in an affluent American family, as a fake.

Sprightly and light-hearted, there is a strong spirit of fun churning through Magic In The Moonlight, and Emma Stone and Colin Firth crackle with energy and wit throughout, even if their romance does beg questioning considering the 28-year age gap. But we can get over this, can’t we? There have been stranger things shown in cinemas. Magic In The Moonlight’s greatest asset is its gorgeous visuals (set in the French Riviera, which always helps on that front) – so kudos to cinematographer Darius Khondji. It really does look beautiful.

Magic In The Moonlight won’t be making any ‘Top Ten’ lists this year, and despite being an ultimately flawed film, it’s certainly not the failure some may wish you to think. As long as you don’t go in expecting another Blue Jasmine, you should have a lot of fun.


Words: Lucas Fothergill
Illustration: Simon Isles