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Film Review: 'Magic In The Moonlight'

Tanya Mardirossian |
July 25, 2014 | 5:08 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

When seeing a film by Woody Allen, audiences know that romance and comedy are just around the corner. 

Set in the south of France in the 1920s, Stanley (Colin Firth) is a traveling magician who poses as the famous Chinese Wei Ling Soo. His magician friends asks him to visit France to debunk Sophie (Emma Stone), an acclaimed psychic who can speak to the afterlife and foresee the future. As Stanley and Sophie spend more time with each other, they develop a friendship and grow quite fond of one another. After convincing him through her actions, Sophie manages to convince cynical and sarcastic Stanley that she is the real thing. 

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There’s no question about how the film ends, being a romantic comedy written and directed by Woody Allen. Though the overall plot is predictable, there are still some elements of surprise—it is a film about magic, after all. 

The film can be compared to a light, comedic version of “The Great Gatsby." The script contains witty dialogue, scenes filled with jazz music, parties, romance and of course, the talk about social classes and their glamorous way of life (including a rushed marriage). 

Firth acts alongside his “What a Girl Wants” co-star Eileen Atkins (who played his mother in the 2003 film), who plays his Aunt Vanessa in “Magic in the Moonlight”.  Firth and Stone's age difference is made clear not only in reality, but in the film; but with Sophie's sharp, clever personality and Stanley's sarcastic wit, the two had chemistry on set. 

As for the message of the film? 

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Magic, or trickery can help us escape from our pessimistic life. Believing a lie can sometimes make us happier and more positive than knowing the truth. Though we try not to be, or don’t like to admit to it, everyone has a little hypocrite inside of them, like Stanley who lives a facade as a character/magician who tries to out someone’s fraud. But that only adds more to why Sophie and Stanley understand each other. 

All in all, “Magic in the Moonlight” reminds us that magic is something to believe in, no matter how logical or practical we are, to have faith carry us through life’s mysterious times. 

Reach Staff Member Tanya Mardirossian here. Follow her on Twitter



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