In the funeral of the famous British journalist Joe Strombel (Ian McShane), his colleagues and friends recall how obstinate he was while seeking a scoop. Meanwhile, the deceased Joe discloses the identity of the tarot card serial killer of London. He cheats Death (Pete Mastin) and appears to the American student of journalism Sondra Pransky (Scarlett Johansson), who is on the stage in the middle of a magic show of the magician Sidney Waterman (Woody Allen) in London, and tells her that the murderer is the aristocrat Peter Lyman (Hugh Jackman). Sondra drags Sid in her investigation, seeking for evidence that Peter is the killer. However, she falls in love with him and questions if Joe Strombel is right in his scoop.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In the beginning, a group of journalists are at a bar table discussing their friend Joe Strombel (Ian McShane) and his accomplishments, very similar to the old comics at the delicatessen in writer/director Woody Allen's Broadway Danny Rose (1984), talking about the title character (Woody Allen) in the same conversational fashion. See more »
Peter never asks Sondra how she got into his secure room to find the Tarot cards under the French Horn. (However it's conceivable he believed she saw him enter it when they entered the room earlier.) See more »
Don't mourn for Joe Strombel. Joe Strombel had a full life. A newspaper man in the best tradition. A great credit to the Fourth Estate. It didn't matter if the bombs of the war zone were falling, it didn't matter how high up the political scandal went, or how many big corporations or small time racketeers leaned on him. Whatever the risk, if there was a story there, Joe went after it. And he usually got it.
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Greetings again from the darkness. Remember all the "What happened to Woody Allen?" jokes? Even Mr. Allen poked fun at the fans who wanted him to continue making his same "funny" films. As with any great artist, Mr. Allen's craft evolved over the years and he lost some fans, while picking up others. Last year's masterpiece "Matchpoint" showed he is still every bit as relevant and poignant as he was in the days of "Annie Hall" and "Manhattan". What is most striking to us 40 plus year fans is that Mr. New York himself seems to have a bit of a crush on the mother country. Apparently he actually likes England!! While filming "Matchpoint", Mr. Allen became enamored with Scarlett Johansson and her real life spirit and sense of humor. This attraction motivated him to write his best comedy in years. Scarlett, while risking overexposure, must be given credit for not just picking films that cast her in some glamorous light. She is unafraid to look and act like a real person. In "Scoop", she flashes some real on screen comedy chops and, in many scenes, delivers the real punchline to Mr. Allen's straight man. Of course, any time Mr. Allen decides to put himself in front of the camera, he will get more than his share of one liners and social commentaries in - which is fine, because few do it better.
Very nice support work from Ian McShane and Hugh Jackman. In fact, Mr. Jackman provides a few glimpses into why many of us thought him the best choice to replace Brosnan as the new Bond. As with most of Allen's films, the star is the script, not the actors. Although Scarlett delivers superbly here and is a nice contrast to the polished Allen and Jackman, what makes this one crackle is the dialogue ... especially the banter between Allen and Scarlett. If you are not a huge Woody the actor fan, fear not. He does limit his screen time and he is quite effective, except in two or three brief scenes that almost seem out of place. Another Woodman tradition is a sparkling musical background and "Scoop" is no exception ... especially the Strauss composition.
"Scoop" is a nice cross between "Annie Hall" and the best of the Marx Brothers films or the Cary Grant comedies. Yes it is an adult comedy, but it is actually very cute ... especially for a serial killer and talking ghost comedy!!
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