Posted by Paul Drury
17. Jan, 2013
Woody Allen films are like birthday presents. They come once a year and some of them are better than others.
I’m a big fan of Woody, and believe that after 40 years making films he still has some interesting stuff to say. Sure, Allen will never produce another Annie Hall or Hannah and Her Sisters, but his recent move from NYC to Europe seems to have re-engergised the short-statured auteur.
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger was filmed in 2010 and is Allen’s fourth film set in London. The ensemble cast includes heavyweights like Sir Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts, Antonio Banderas and Josh Brolin.
The film revolves around Sally (Watts) and her estranged parents Alfie (Hopkins) and Helena (Gemma Jones). Alfie’s going through the typical Allen-eqsue existential crisis and responds by getting a new car and wife. Helena turns to phoney fortune teller Cristel (Pauline Collins) for guidance, while Sally’s own marriage to struggling writer Roy (Josh Brolin) begins to crumble.
Over a brisk 95 minute running time Allen takes his characters through hoops, highs and humiliations as they search for their own meaning. Some end more happily than others.
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger’s preoccupation with death, legacy and what comes after reflects the ageing director’s sensibilities more than sex and money used to. While there are no surprises here, it’s a steady-as-she-goes Allen vehicle. More an 37th birthday than a 21st, but still worth checking out.
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger is now showing nationally.
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