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You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger

Submitted by admin on October 7, 2024 – 12:30 amNo Comment

Woody Allen always brings mojo to his movies. With Robert Altman gone there’s not another American director whose sense of idiosyncratic personality makes a motion picture worthy of its cinematic sheen. It’s not that Allen is in the same ballpark of a Scorsese or Tarantino or Cameron or Spielberg; he’s way too prolific for that.

It seems Allen has lost some of the clout he enjoyed in the 70s and 80s and lately his films concentrate on a particular kind of dramatic impact. For instance Match Point was a straight-ahead murder thriller. Scoop was a wacky farce.

You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, like Scoop, Match Point and Cassandra’s Dream is set in London and involves a bevy of UK actors like Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson’s mother Gemma Jones.

You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger melds comedy and drama into a perfect realization of pathos. Most directors (not to mention writers) would be content with just comedy, or on the other hand would be happy to reveal pure drama. Allen however knows the path between the two. There are parts of YWMATDS where you are laughing at the characters and then there are parts where your heart goes out to their predicament. Then the third act rolls around and you see how everyone’s human weaknesses lead to their downfall. In some ways this is as profound a film as Allen has ever made. Think Interiors with the wit of Stardust Memories.

Hopkins wants out of his marriage to Jones. Their daughter Naomi Watts has bored of her marriage to failed writer Josh Brolin. Brolin has struck up a relation with his neighbor Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire). Leave it to Allen to toss in minor but key roles for Ewan Bremner (Trainspotting), Christian McKay (Me & Orson Welles), Anna Friel and Antonio Banderas.

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger uses theme music that suggests Disney (“When You Wish Upon a Star”) but reveals a world where what were once pure and happy people have turned ugly and tragic through their own skewed desires.

- Michael Bergeron

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