Woody Allen has this unique ability to explore the big questions of human existence while dressing them in witty dialogue, elegant lighting, lush cinematography and clever editing. He is more than a consummate film director and screenwriter. He really is a master.

He does it once again in "Magic in the Moonlight," starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone. 

Set in 1920s Europe, Allen casts Firth as a cynical, arrogant and pathologically rational magician on a mission to expose Stone's character as a crook. That's when the questions begin with the roaring, wealthy, social scene as the backdrop.

Allen also has this great knack for putting his characters through the wringer without demonizing, demoralizing or even decapitating them. There's no violence, no blood and no "go-to" crutches employed to fill out his scripts. No clichés, just plenty of questions and moral dilemma amid delightful comedy peppered with doses of drama. I love his films.

Again, I'm as tired of watching Firth play the bumbling, middle-aged man as he must be playing them. However, again, he's fantastic in the role. As an actor, he's able to portray emotional depth without being over-the-top dramatic. It's called acting.

Emma Stone is warm, intelligent, beautiful and charming in her role. She is an absolute movie star. Most actors, male or female, would kill for the lighting she got in this film. She is absolutely radiant. In fact, I love the scene in which the characters actually discuss lighting. Funny, charming and romantic.

It's a shame that so many people's views about Allen's personal life have kept them away from his films. I don't know Jack about his personal life. All I know is that when it comes to Allen's films, I can either go with my head or go with my heart.

With a title like, "Magic in the Moonlight," I went with my heart.


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