Magic in the Moonlight

Magic in the Moonlight Written and Directed by Woody Allen

Colin Firth … Stanley (Wei Ling Soo)
Simon McBurney … Howard Burkan
Catherine McCormack … Olivia
Eileen Atkins Aunt Vanessa
Erica Leerhsen … Caroline
Jeremy Shamos … George
Hamish Linklater … Brice
Emma Stone … Sophie
Jacki Weaver … Grace Catledge

Aspect Ratio 2.35 : 1
Camera Arricam LT and Arricam ST, Panavision Primo, C-, D- and E-Series Lenses
Negative Format 35 mm (Kodak) Yes, One of the few directors still shooting on film.


Woody returns to a subjects, locations and times explored in earlier films- Magic, France, and the late 1920s. The film opens in a large theater where a magician with the stage name of Wei Ling Soo (Colin Firth) is wowing the neatly dressed audience by making an elephant disappear sawing a woman in half, and other grand tricks. The showman’s real name is Stanley and after the show he is greeted back stage by Howard Burkan, a fellow magician, and life-long friend who tells him about a wealthy family, the Catledge’s and how they were being taken in by a Fake spiritualist. He confide in Stanley that despite his best attempts to prove the woman to be a fraud, he was unable to figure out how she worked her tricks. Howard, playing on Stanley’s ego, convinces him to find out her tricks and save his friends from being played the fool. Stanley has made a name for him self revealing the tricks perpetrated by fraudulent spiritualists

At the Catledge’s estate in the french countryside of Côte d’Azur, he is introduced to Sophie (Emma Stone) and hears of her mother’s plans to “Allow” the Catledge’s to fund a venture for Sophie. He is immediately, true to his personality, sarcastic and unimpressed with Sophie, but as she makes repeated correct predictions and knows things she short not know- he regains to change his mind as he also starts to fall in love with her.

This is not one of Allen’s great films, but it is charming and fun. His his hands, and with the superb acting of Firth and Stone, this film has a depth and sophistication that would allude lesser talents.

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