Review of Woody Allen’s latest movie IRRATIONAL MAN Part 8

Irrational Man Official Trailer #1 (2015) – Emma Stone, Joaquin Phoenix Movie HD

Woody Allen, Emma Stone and the cast of Irrational Man in Cannes

Irrational Man Movie CLIP – You’re Paranoid (2015) – Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone Movie HD

Joaquin Phoenix plays a jaded professor, Emma Stone his young flirting buddy in another of the director’s underpowered satires about the fallacy of intellect

Woody Allen’s Irrational Man is another of the amiable but forgettable and underpowered jeux d’esprit that he produces with an almost somnambulist consistency and persistence. It’s a tongue-in-cheek mystery which is neither quite scary and serious enough to be suspenseful, nor witty or ironic enough to count as a comedy.

The idea is inspired by Dostoyevsky and Patricia Highsmith. Joaquin Phoenixplays Abe Lucas, a sketchily imagined philosophy professor with a reputation as a devilishly handsome wild man. He is a charismatic lecturer and a great seducer of women, both faculty members and students (the movie is notionally set in the present, but seems to come from a pre-90s age in which this latter campus activity was not rigorously policed and frowned upon). He is an alcoholic and depressive, deeply disenchanted with the meaning and usefulness of philosophy and indeed all cerebral activity and greatly disconcerts his starstruck colleagues with his cynicism. (The movie incidentally rather resembles Marc Lawrence’s comedy The Rewrite, with Hugh Grant as the former hotshot screenwriter forced to earn money by teaching in a provincial college.)

Soon, Abe begins an affair with science lecturer Rita (Parker Posey) and begins to flirt with a brilliant student Jill (Emma Stone) — who, with rather un-ironic absurdity, is also a brilliant pianist. The older woman’s relationship is clearly unimportant compared to the younger. But nothing raises Abe’s saturnine spirits until he just happens to overhear a woman tearfully complaining that a corrupt and vengeful judge intends to find against her in a custody case and ruin her life. It is a eureka moment for Abe: he could murder this judge, no-one could possibly suspect him and this bold act would be doing more real good than a thousand flatulent and meaningless philosophy papers on Kierkegaard. Murder is the answer.

There are one or two nice moments, and some clunkingly improbable and lazily written plot twists, for which the narrative path has been notionally cleared with stitchback references early in the script. They really should either have had more basic plausibility, more genuine hair-raising excitement, or been cleared for us as overtly comic and absurd. Emma Stone, Joaquin Phoenix and Parker Posey, mosey unconcernedly through a story that never quite grabs you. Abe is supposed to have an edge of melancholy because of a friend of his who died in Iraq — but this side to his personality is never satisfactorily illustrated or confirmed in the drama. There is much talk of leaving the US and going to “Spain” or, with another character, going to “London” and then studying at “Oxford”, places that seem as blandly unreal by repute as the small American town in which the action is unfolding. There is a nice finale, which raises a little laugh, or a smile at any rate, at something that isn’t quite ingenuity, more a sort of effrontery.Woody Allen has touched upon the notion of guilt before, in his heavy-going London drama Match Point, but most importantly in his wonderful Crimes And Misdemeanors, in which the crime is genuinely shocking. Irrational Man is a good idea, a sketch for a movie, but the movie itself is unrealised.

Cannes Update: The Lobster, Irrational Man

‘Irrational Man’ Review

Irrational Man: Is It Any Good? (Cannes 2015)

Cannes 2015 – IRRATIONAL MAN by Woody ALLEN (Press conference)

Cannes presents: Woody Allen’s ‘Irrational Man’ (Red Carpet)

Related posts:

Woody Allen: The Stand-Up Years 1964-1968 (Part 5)

___________ Fifty Years Ago, Woody Allen PlottedMidnight in Paris in This Stand-up Routine By Kyle Buchanan Follow @kylebuchanan 341Shares Share254Tweet70Share8EmailPrint When Woody Allen won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar this year for writing Midnight in Paris, he set a record at age 76 as the oldest person to ever triumph in that category. Turns out, […]

Woody Allen: The Stand-Up Years 1964-1968 (Part 4)

_____ _______ Woody Allen Stand Up Comic 1964 1968 09 The Science Fiction Film Woody Allen’s stand-up comedy albums reissued in new box set BY JOSH TERRY ON DECEMBER 16, 2014, 12:10PM 1 COMMENT FACEBOOK TWITTER TUMBLR STUMBLEUPON REDDIT Before Woody Allen became the prolific director responsible for such classics as Manhattan and Annie Hall, he was a […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen: The Stand-Up Years 1964-1968 (Part 3)

Woody Allen Stand Up Comic 1964 1968 15 Brooklyn Separating The Art From the Artist With Woody Allen: The Stand-Up Years By Samantha Allen January 20, 2015  |  11:30am Share Tweet Share In the liner notes for Woody Allen: The Stand-Up Years 1964-1968, longtime director and producer Robert B. Weide (Curb Your Enthusiasm) waxes nostalgic […]

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

_ 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? Not saying much … Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix in Woody Allen’s Irrational Man. Photograph: PR Andrew Pulver @Andrew_Pulver Monday 13 April 2015 08.27 EDTLast modified on Monday […]

Woody Allen: The Stand-Up Years 1964-1968 (Part 2)

I love it when I find someone else who has a love for Woody Allen movies like I do. Evidently Paul Semel is person like that. Below is Paul Semel’s fine review:  Woody Allen Stand Up Comic 1964 1968 01 The Vodka Ad JANUARY 12, 2015 Woody Allen The Stand-Up Years 1964-1968 Review Given that he’s […]

Woody Allen: The Stand-Up Years 1964-1968 (Part 1)

Woody Allen Stand Up Comic 1964 1968 05 Mechanical Objects Standing Up and Floating Out Our favorite things this week include Woody Allen’s “The Stand-Up Years,” “Inherent Vice” by Thomas Pynchon not Paul Thomas Anderson, and “Saga” by Brian K. Vaughan. MILK & HONEY Email this page Posted January 14, 2015 Allen’s Stand-Up Roots: On […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen’s past movies and the subject of the Meaning of Life examined by Kyle Turner

____ Woody Allen’s past movies and the subject of the Meaning of Life examined!!! Out of the Past: Woody Allen, Nostalgia, the Meaning of Life, and Radio Days Kyle Turner Jul 25, 2014 Film, Twilight Time 1 Comment “I firmly believe, and I don’t say this as a criticism, that life is meaningless.” – Woody […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen Should Have Quoted Pascal: “Magic in the Moonlight” January 7, 2015 by Roger E. Olson 9 Comments

Woody Allen Should Have Quoted Pascal: “Magic in the Moonlight” January 7, 2015 by Roger E. Olson 9 Comments Woody Allen Should Have Quoted Pascal: “Magic in the Moonlight”   I am no Roger Ebert and don’t watch that many movies, but in my opinion, for what it’s worth, Woody Allen’s 2014 film “Magic in […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY My letter to Woody Allen’s Sister!!!!

______________ If anyone has read my blog for any length of time they know that I am the biggest Woody Allen fan of all time. No one except maybe Bergman has attacked the big questions in life as well as Woody Allen. Furthermore, Francis Schaeffer is my favorite Christian Philosopher and he spent a lot […]

Woody Allen to make first TV series for Amazon Prime

  ___________ Woody Allen to make first TV series for Amazon Prime ‘I’m not sure where to begin,’ says 79-year-old Oscar-winner about his small screen debut, as streaming TV service seeks to gain march on rivals with exclusive content Comment: in signing Woody Allen, Amazon Prime has delivered a nuclear blast to the competition Woody […]

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: