Director: Woody Allen
Talent: Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey, Jamie Blackley
Release Date: 11th September 2015
Abe (Joaquin Phoenix) is stuck in a rut. He is a philosophy professor of some renown teaching in a distinguished university but who has lost his joie de vivre, until he meets an enthusiastic student and admirer in Jill (Emma Stone) and decides, motivated by compassion, indignation and vague reference to Nietzsche, to commit the perfect crime. It is interesting that, after the initial and quite positive effects of Abe’s big, paradigm-shifting action, he descends into madness, becoming perhaps unexpectedly the villain of a piece that seemed to hold such promise for him, his idealism and his will to transcend. It is even more interesting that Woody Allen, a man who has been on creative autopilot for years, would produce yet another paean to the quotidian, or at least against the idea of the radical disruption of one’s own life and ideas, for better or worse.
Words: Oisín Murphy-Hall