Opening 12 Nov 2015
Writing credits: Woody Allen
Principal actors: Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey, Joe Stapleton, Nancy Carroll
Timing in life is everything…. certainly when Woody Allen started making films, in 1965, it was a very different time with moviegoers having a different mindset. What is relevant and relatable entertainment also changes with time. Relatable in 1965 was ‘flower power’ and ‘free love.’ People than were asking deeper questions of their existence and seeking to find quality of life and inner peace, thus Woody Allen and other popular moviemakers made films with that relatable content. Sitting though his latest film, Irrational Man, cinched it for me; I have moved on and Woody has not.
Professor Abe Lewis (Joaquin Phoenix) is a brilliant well-respected philosophy professor, whose alcoholic ways have him spiraling into an abyss of depression. Abe lands a position at a small college where he wallows in tormented self-loathing while sharing his despondent cries under the guise of philosophical teaching. Enter Jill (Emma Stone), a sweet naive coed who has stars in her eyes for Professor Lewis. Jill knows that she will find ‘truth’, answers to her questions about the meaning of life. Her student-professor relationship evolves into a love affair where Jill’s new mission is to breathe meaning and joy back into Abe’s tortured soul. You are asked to cheer for Abe… Yes, there is joy in life and Jill will save you!
I know that Woody Allen is a prolific writer/director/actor whose body of work spans across 5 decades of films (and plays) but how many films do movie-goers need to see Woody’s takes of Crime and Punishment? This theme can be seen in films done by him how many times over the recent years?
With the 2015 daily reality of warfare, starvation, climate change, droughts, etc… the last thing I want is to go to a film and see a tormented depressed man wallowing in questions of ‘what is life’ and as a viewer be sucked deep down under. (Abby Myers)