Sunday, August 24, 2014

Dreaming of France -- Magic in the Moonlight

Please join this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.
I knew that Woody Allen had a new movie coming out, but I had no idea that it was set in the south of France until my friend Greg texted and told me that I should see Magic in the Moonlight.
I'm not a big Woody Allen fan, but I loved Midnight in Paris. I figured that, like me, Allen might have fallen in love with France. Maybe the culture helped him to relax a little and make his movies less neurotic.
Magic in the Moonlight is a far cry from some of Allen's insular New York movies with hysterical characters that obsess about small details. So maybe living in France has mellowed Allen.
The movie stars Colin Firth and Emma Stone -- two actors whose work I really enjoy. Firth plays Stanley Crawford, a famous magician. He travels to the south of France with a magician friend who requests his help unmasking a spiritualist. I think this part of the movie must have been based on Harry Houdini, who was a magician and who fought with spiritualists; spiritualists are people who claim to be able to speak to the dead.
Emma Stone plays the spiritualist character, Sophie Baker, a young woman from Kalamazoo, Michigan, traveling Europe with her mother, reading people's vibrations and talking to the dead. She is staying with a wealthy family from Pittsburgh, and the heir has fallen in love with her. Stanley's job is to unmask Sophie and break the spell.
As you can imagine, Stanley is a man committed to logic who doesn't believe in a spiritual life at all, and he becomes intrigued with Sophie's ability.
This film moved a little slowly. It didn't sweep me away the way Midnight in Paris did. I never forgot that I saw in the cinema with greasy buttered popcorn on the tips of my fingers.
The scenes set along the Cote d'Azur were lovely; the water sparkled more than Sophie's engagement ring.  Stanley's aunt lived in Provence, so the movie ventured there a few times. Although not much of Provence was visible, the feeling of Provence permeated. The light in the film helps remind you why artists like Van Gogh travel there to paint.
I don't regret seeing the movie, although it dragged a bit. I love France enough that I'll take any little gulps of it I can get.
But if you can only see one movie set in France this fall, I'd go with The Hundred Foot Journey.


Esme said...

Paulita, I met the author about 4-5 years ago. We were talking and he told me about the book and asked if he could give me a copy-how is that for a small world.

Esme said...

I am going to check out this movie-thank you.

Vicki Lesage said...

I still need to see Midnight in Paris. It's on my list!

Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

Even though he can be hit or miss I am still a Woody Allen fan . So I will definitely want to see this movie, even if it is just to view the French landscape . Thanks for let us know about it. I will have a lot of movies to watch when I get home.

Lucia said...

HI Paulita

I watched Love Punch with Emma Thompson and Pierce Bronsnan. It had a lame plot but beautiful scenery! Very predictable. I love both actors! Especially Emma. I wouldn't spend money going to see in a theatre. I am going to check out the movie with Emma Stone but wait til it's out of theatre.

Louise said...

I'm not a Woody Allen fan either, indeed I broke a very long self-imposed drought to see Midnight in Paris, which was the best WA movie I've ever seen I guess. I'm not sure that even the lure of seeing more French scenery would be enough to get me to this one, although I do like Colin Firth. Perhaps I'll check it out when it comes on the tele?

Anonymous said...

Yes this one is a 'minor' Woody Allen movie. With the scenery and the thin plot line, it sure looks like he has brought work along while he was on vacation at the Côte d'Azur. But, an entertaining film just the same.

Leovi said...

Yes, I like this movie a wonderful photograph !!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hi Paulita , I will try any film set in France , I did see Midnight in Paris , but not a fan of Woody Allen. So I will give this new film a try , and as Colin Firth is in it even better.

Cockadoodle Doo or Cocorico?

 We stood in the middle of the road, having walked together 13 miles that day and Claudine grasped my forearm. "Mais non! It doesn'...