6.5/10
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183 user 272 critic

Magic in the Moonlight (2014)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 15 August 2014 (USA)
Trailer
2:06 | Trailer
A romantic comedy about an Englishman brought in to help unmask a possible swindle. Personal and professional complications ensue.

Director:

Woody Allen

Writer:

Woody Allen
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Popularity
3,359 ( 454)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Firth ... Stanley
Antonia Clarke ... Wei Ling Soo's Assistant
Natasha Andrews ... Wei Ling Soo's Assistant
Valérie Beaulieu Valérie Beaulieu ... Wei Ling Soo's Assistant
Peter Wollasch Peter Wollasch ... Stage Manager
Jürgen Zwingel Jürgen Zwingel ... Backstage Fan
Wolfgang Pissors ... Backstage Fan
Sébastien Siroux Sébastien Siroux ... Backstage Fan
Simon McBurney ... Howard Burkan
Ute Lemper ... Cabaret Singer
Catherine McCormack ... Olivia
Eileen Atkins ... Aunt Vanessa
Erica Leerhsen ... Caroline
Jeremy Shamos ... George
Hamish Linklater ... Brice Catledge
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Storyline

Wei Ling Soo, a.k.a. Stanley Crawford (Colin Firth) is a magician who has dedicated his life to revealing fraudulent spiritualists. He plans to quickly uncover the truth behind celebrated spiritualist Sophie Baker (Emma Stone) and her scheming mother (Marcia Gay Harden). However, the more time he spends with her, he starts thinking that she might actually be able to communicate with the other world, but even worse, he might be falling in love with her. Written by Anne Campbell

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a brief suggestive comment, and smoking throughout | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of Howard's cars is a red 1928 Alfa Romeo 1600 Sport. See more »

Goofs

In the first scene, during Wei Ling Soo's performance, the Chinese words on the backdrop are simplified Chinese characters, which were introduced in 1935 and not officially used in mainland China until the mid-1950s. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Stanley: I don't understand. Is the conductor a blithering idiot? He went over the tempo six times. It's Adagio, Adagio, Adagio! It's not racehorse tempo.
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Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Emma Stone Performances (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

You Call It Madness (But I Call It Love)
Composed by Con Conrad, Gladys DuBois, Russ Columbo and Paul Gregory
Performed by Smith Ballew and His Piping Rock Orchestra
Courtesy of Columbia Records by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

 
A Widely and Profoundly Misunderstood Gem
20 August 2014 | by emvanSee all my reviews

Most viewers are taking this film as a conventional (and admittedly entirely predictable) romantic comedy which happens to be about a magician who debunks fake spirit mediums, and a beautiful young woman whom he believes is just that. But that's getting it *entirely backwards*. It is in fact a thought-provoking exploration of the extreme materialistic worldview -- the view that holds that modern science has eliminated the possibility of the existence of the soul, an afterlife, and God -- and an exploration of the psychological relationship between embracing that worldview, and being pessimistic and unhappy. As such, it is one of Allen's most personal and thought-provoking films in years.

And if that sounds "heavy," the miracle of the movie is its very lightness. Obviously, the themes enter in so effortlessly that many people are missing them entirely! You need to be interested in the tension between the materialist worldview and the conventional one that accommodates the spiritual and the mysterious, but if you are, you will be astonished at how delightful and entertaining an exploration of those deep themes can be.

The age discrepancy between Frith's and Stone's characters, which I am sure will bother many, is in fact completely necessary: he must be old enough to be set in his pessimistic ways, and she must be young and beautiful enough to challenge them at first sight.

Obviously there are happy atheists and there are miserable spiritual people, so the question that Allen is asking here is whether some unhappy atheists have embraced the soul- and God-denying position too vigorously, as a sort of defense mechanism to shield themselves from the fundamentally irrational possibility of falling in love. The way the movie knits together the materialist / spiritualist question, the possibility of love, and the metaphor of magic -- well, it's sheer magic itself.

This is far from Allen's funniest movie, and it's only a 7/10 as entertainment. But not only does it easily gain an extra point for its depth, it almost gains two. Admittedly, I am fascinated by the movie's themes, but I think that anyone who is interested in them may find themselves as charmed and, ultimately, as deeply moved as I was. 89/100.


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Details

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

15 August 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Magic in the Moonlight See more »

Filming Locations:

Côte d'Azur, France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$412,095, 27 July 2014

Gross USA:

$10,539,326

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$51,029,361
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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