WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen’s Irrational Man: let’s take a rational look at the first film still

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The first picture from Woody Allen’s new movie confirms that Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone are its stars. But what do we know about the bigger picture?

Irrational Man film still.
Not saying much … Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix in Woody Allen’s Irrational Man. Photograph: PR

Sony Pictures Classics have released the first picture from the new Woody Allen film Irrational Man, and apart from the fact that it confirms that Joaquin Phoenixand Emma Stone are indeed the stars of the film, it seems that Allen isn’t giving much away. (Unless you count the highly visible Lacoste logo on Phoenix’s polo shirt, which may point to top-dollar product placement fees. Or not.)

So what do we know about Irrational Man? We know the principal cast, which includes indie-scene veteran Parker Posey and young Brit actor Jamie Blackley. Less dramatically, we also know that Allen’s sister Letty Aronson is one of the producers; she’s been part of his operation since 1994’s Bullets Over Broadway. An unofficial plot synopsis has been doing the rounds too.

On a small town college campus, a philosophy professor (Joaquin Phoenix) in existential crisis gives his life new purpose when he enters into a relationship with his student (Emma Stone).

The title clearly takes its cue from William Barrett’s Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy – a primer published in 1958 that no doubt formed part of Allen’s self-taught intellectual life in the late 50s and early 60s. One or two placesare suggesting there’s a murder mystery going on too. Various character names are included on Imdb: Phoenix’s is called Abe; and the same site suggests the US release date is 24 July.

Other than that, we’re feeding on scraps. There’s a rumour that Irrational Man will emerge via an out-of-competition screening at Cannes where, no doubt all the talk will be of the older-man-younger-woman dynamic. If it happens.

 

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