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|Originaltitel:||Magic in the Moonlight|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 97 Min.|
Almost everyone knows the most famous magician of his time, the Chinese wizard Wei Ling Soo. But hardly anyone knows that Stanley Crawford (Colin Firth) is the Brit behind the mask of the magician. Stanley is not only a master of deception, he also has the great talent to expose alleged spiritists as charlatans. After all, as a great illusionist, he knows all the tricks with which one can fake contact with the spirit world. When asked by his long-time friend Howard Burkan (Simon McBurney) to prove that the young fortune teller Sophie Baker (Emma Stone) is a cheater, arrogant Stanley believes he has an easy time with the American. But not only that the entire Catledge family - especially son Brice (Hamish Linklater) - have succumbed to the charm of the clairvoyant. Sophie actually seems to have some tricks that the magician doesn't know yet. And it won't be long before he sees the alleged cheater himself with different eyes. Maybe there is something like real magic in the air?
With "Magic in the Moonlight" Woody Allen returns to the realms of lighter comedy food after the drama "Blue Jasmine". The story he tells is rather simple and relatively predictable. But that doesn't change the fact that she is really charming and is told very charmingly. And it's especially the lively dialogues that make the movie so enjoyable. The dialogue duels between Stanley and Sophie are a lot of fun, which is intensified by the good-humoured play of Colin Firth as an arrogant egomaniac and Emma Stone. In addition, there are the wonderful locations in France, through which the audience can escape the grey everyday life perfectly and is filled with a relaxing lightness.
That the film in its own way is a lot of fun and especially lovers of Woody Allen's younger comedies well entertained, is beyond question. However, it must also be said that "Magic in the Moonlight" isn't necessarily one of the best works the director has done in recent years. The script and staging of this light summer comedy, for example, simply can't match "Midnight in Paris". Especially as there are some lengths creeping in during the last third despite the rather short running time, which reveals that the story is a bit thin overall.
However, Woody Allen manages quite well to compensate these small weaknesses with a pleasantly light, playful direction. When the movie radiates the flair of classic screwball comedies in its best moments, then the viewer gets so infected by the cheerful mood that one only likes to ignore some light dramaturgical hangovers. And the very nice ending compensates anyway for every moment when you had the feeling you had to fight against boredom.
Although "Magic in the Moonlight" might not be one of Allen's best works, this light comedy spreads a really good mood and in the end even hits the heart again. As a result, the viewer leaves the auditorium with a broad smile on his face. And that's reason enough to attest this movie to be "absolutely worth seeing".
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