Director Appreciation Week 1 Review: Magic in the Moonlight (2014)

This is perhaps the most divisive of the movies watched this week. The cinematography was once more absolutely breathtaking, with Darius Khondji (who also worked wonders on Midnight in Paris) shooting the South of France almost like a dream world. The colours are so vibrant and the nature so elegant that it looks straight out of a story book. Emma Stone, as Sophie, a young ‘mystic’, never allows the scenery to consume her though, and instead stands out amongst the beauty. She’s completely mesmerising, a mysterious character, but with a clear innocence to her. Unfortunately, Colin Firth’s Stanley Crawford is much less likable. He’s certainly not the monster some would paint him as, but he does come across as arrogant, condescending and self-indulgent at times which show little hint of a true charming side. At other times the wit is on point, and the growing admiration between the pair (despite the obvious age gap) is believable. This however, is too few and far between, and instead makes the film feel slightly choppy and uneven. Whilst it will never be held in the same high regard as Midnight in Paris, Magic in the Moonlight is an enjoyable escape, with a solid script, that even throws in a few nice if not totally veiled twists. Go for the gorgeous scenery and classic Woody wit, and stay for the incredible lead actress.

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