“Irrational Man” by Wooden Allen
Viewed by Alex Farba at Moskva Theater, Yerevan, August 16, 2015.


A tormented philosophy professor (Joaquin Phoenix) considers murdering a corrupt judge to find meaning in his life.

Joaquim Phoenix and Emma Stone in quirky campus romance

Allen showing his age (Eighty) with listless wooden retread of earlier much better Middle Class murder forays such as ‘Crimes and Misdemeanors’ and ‘Match Point’.
Phoenix pathetic as washed out new philosophy prof at plush college by the sea who can’t get it up for all the attractive women who have the hots for him.
More pathetic for his new drooping pot belly than for the ineptness required by the role. Woody’s trademark attempts to flout his self-taught existentialisme also getting long in the tooth.
Phoenix is clearly his alter ego here much as Mastroianni was Fellini’s alter ego in 8 and a 1/2 –his back story and problems reflecting those of the director almost to a tee — down to Woody’s not so secret wish to be recognized as an intellectual, not just a funny man — (Ahem, my son, the Professor) —

Irrational Man - Woody Allen
Lush location Photography on Newport Island, home of the Newport Jazz Festival and summer home of the Kennedy clan, turns the location into a major character in the film and a come hither travel promo — more attractive than rest of the story.
Emma Stone (Last seen in abominable Oscar winner “Birdman”) is however, very good as the leggy co-ed who falls for informal hip-flask swigging philo prof Joaquin P. but eventually pushes him down an elevator shaft when she realizes this romance is a dead end. (Pun intended)
Woody Allen “unconditionals” for whom then director can do no wrong, will probably sop this up with customary glee and relish. Only four out of 29 Imdb reviews were negative, the rest mostly enthralled raves.
I must confess that I did find it (very) slightly fun to watch in spots, but then I am an existentialist myself and was seeing it in Russian where It probably gained in translation.

 
Feature by: ALEX FARBA FILM WEBSITE:
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Alex DeLeon

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