11 September 2015

Film Review - Irrational Man (2015)

Irrational Man, Woody Allen's 182nd film, is certainly one of his weakest. Allen continues his trend of releasing a film a year and this certainly comes across like a project that not a lot of thought was put into.

Joaquin Phoenix plays Abe Lucas, a drunk, depressed yet brilliant philosophy professor who after moving to a new collage starts up a close friendship with one of his students, Jill Pollard, played by Emma Stone. Of course she falls in love with him, this is after all a Woody Allen film and it wouldn't be complete without a younger woman falling head over heels in love with an awkward older man. Jill is eager to get Abe out of his depression but nothing seems to work, that is until they stumble upon a conversation at a diner where they hear a woman discussing how a judge is ruining her life by taking her kids away from her. Abe now finds purpose and while he figures out a way to kill this judge he starts to enjoy life again.

The premise isn't all that bad, but its execution is a disaster. Every scene has an absolutely unnecessary voice-over with either Abe or Jill telling us what they're thinking, and what're they happen to be thinking is extremely obvious and becomes increasingly frustrating to listen to. Not much happens in each scene and for some reason every scene seems to start with a snippet of Ramsey Lewis' "In-Crowd", a great song that becomes unbearable. Irrational Man is only an hour and a half but feels so long that an interval wouldn't feel out of place.

I think Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone are both marvellous actors but they can't do anything with such a simple yet precocious script. I understand why people would want to be in a Woody Allen film but with his success rate getting worse and worse, I think it's high time that people start turning down his offers.

There is however one scene which is dark and extremely funny but unfortunately 2 minutes cannot save the other 93. A testing experience to say the least.

Harry Davenport

Drama | USA, 2015 | 15| Warner Bros UK | 11th September 2015 (UK) |Dir.Woody Allen | Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey,Jamie Blackley

1 comment:

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