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Irrational Man (2015)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 7 August 2015 (USA)
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A tormented philosophy professor finds a will to live when he commits an existential act.

Director:

Woody Allen

Writer:

Woody Allen
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Popularity
3,588 ( 719)
2 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

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,027,764, 30 October 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The book of poems Abe presents to Jill is "Conversation at Midnight: Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay" by Edna St. Vincent Millay See more »

Goofs

In piano recitals using a grand piano, the piano is placed with the soundboard open towards the audience and the performer on the audience's left, so the music is amplified and directed to the audience. In Jill's recital, the soundboard is open but facing away from the audience and Jill is on the audience's right. 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 Shadow of a Doubt (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, Prelude
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Torleif Thedeen
Courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rational Irrational Man
14 January 2016 | by SteveMierzejewskiSee all my reviews

Basically, I'll watch any film that Woody Allen makes. That said, it doesn't mean I think all of his films are top rank. His best films blend comedy, psychology, and philosophy with a good storyline. His worse fall short in one of these areas. When I first started watching the film, I thought it had all the potential of some of his better films. A charismatic, somewhat famous, professor comes to a small college. His questionable reputation intrigues and titillates students and colleagues alike. The professor (Joaquin Phoenix )is in the throes of mid-life angst and burdened by the expectations others have of him. In an attempt to recharge his life, he heads down some questionable trails.

The psychological aspects of the plot evaporate into a crime drama. For a moment, the professor becomes a Raskolnikov-like character and I began to think the psychological aspect may once again come to the fore and make this an interesting movie. Instead, this potential plot twist is brushed aside and, sadly, the rest is more or less predictable.

The acting is good enough, though the romantic relationships among the characters are shallow and not well-developed, making them somewhat difficult to believe.

Woody Allen fans may find the film interesting enough, but don't expect another Midnight in Paris or a crime story as good as Manhattan Murder Mystery. If Irrational Man was more in keeping with its title, it would have been less predictable and more interesting.


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