A tormented philosophy professor finds a will to live when he commits an existential act.

Director:

Woody Allen

Writer:

Woody Allen
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joaquin Phoenix ... Abe Lucas
Emma Stone ... Jill Pollard
Joe Stapleton ... Professor
Nancy Carroll Nancy Carroll ... Professor
Allison Gallerani Allison Gallerani ... Braylin Student
Brigette Lundy-Paine ... Braylin Student
Katelyn Semer Katelyn Semer ... Braylin Student
Betsy Aidem ... Jill's Mother
Ethan Phillips ... Jill's Father
Jamie Blackley ... Roy
Leah Anderson Leah Anderson ... Student Giving Directions
Paula Plum ... College President
Nancy Giles Nancy Giles ... President's Assistant
Henry Stram Henry Stram ... Cocktail Party Guest
Geoff Schuppert ... Cocktail Party Guest
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Storyline

A new philosophy professor arrives on a small town campus near Newport, Rhode Island. His name, Abe Lucas. His reputation : bad. Abe is said to be a womanizer and an alcoholic. But what people do not know is that he is a disillusioned idealist. Since he has become aware of his inability to change the world, he has indeed been living in a state of deep nihilism and arrogant desperation. In class, he only goes through the motions and outside he drinks too much. But as far as sex is concerned, he is just a shadow of himself now: depression is not synonymous with Viagra! For all that, he can't help being attracted to one of his students, pretty and bright Jill Pollard. He enters into a relationship with her which remains platonic, even if Jill would not say no to more. The situation remains unchanged for a while until, one day, in a diner, Abe and Jill surprise a conversation that will change the course of their lives dramatically... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joaquin Phoenix's first time working with Woody Allen. See more »

Goofs

Rita enters Abe's apartment from a driving rain, yet her clothing and hair are dry. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Abe: [narrating] Kant said human reason is troubled by questions that it cannot dismiss, but also cannot answer. Okay, so, what are we talking about here? Morality? Choice? The randomness of life? Aesthetics? Murder?
Jill: I think Abe was crazy from the beginning. Was it from stress? Was it anger? Was he disgusted by what he saw as life's never-ending suffering? Or was he simply bored by the meaninglessness of day-to-day existence? He was so damn interesting. And different. And a good talker. ...
[...]
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Connections

References Deconstructing Harry (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Darn That Dream
Composed by Jimmy Van Heusen & Edgar De Lange
Performed by The Jimmy Bruno Trio
Courtesy of Concord Music Group, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
There is no one like Woody, the closest thing is Hitchcock
26 July 2015 | by Felonious-PunkSee all my reviews

Woody has such a full body of work that's stretched for decades, there is hardly anyone to compare him to. That being so, it's even interesting to think about people's reactions when a new one of his movies is released. After watching a new one, the most vocal people tend to try to rank it either at the very top or very bottom of his movies. I think that does the movie-watching experience a disservice.

There's very much to like about this movie and just as many ways to watch it. For one, it's like a classy fun witty and romantic Hitchcock movie, albeit transposed coolly and beautifully to the present-day. For two, Khondji's cinematography is an absolute afternoon delight. For three, the three leads are brilliantly cast and played. For four, it's a fun movie about an ethical experiment. For five, it's a fable-like tale of good and evil, safe and daring. For six, it's a very intense story of girls and women, and the very harrowing gulf between. For seven, it fits majestically within possibly Woody's most noble ambition: to have the same movie be as good a comedy as it is a tragedy as it is a story of triumph, in other words, it's an ambitious script. It's an ambitious script also because of the shifting of narrator throughout, and the way each shift pulls at our sympathies. I was laughing at the same time that I was biting my nails and trying to remember to breathe.

We're truly blessed to be able to watch these when they're new! Future generations will envy us, the way we might envy people who were there to see the new Hitchcock or even the new Chaplin.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 August 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Woody Allen Project See more »

Filming Locations:

Rhode Island, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$175,312, 19 July 2015

Gross USA:

$4,030,360

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,391,084
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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