You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger review

:. Director: Woody Allen
:. Starring: Josh Brolin, Naomi Watts
:. Script: Woody Allen
:. Running Time: 1:48
:. Year: 2010
:. Country: USA
:. Official Site: You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

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Nothing new with Woody Allen, but what novelty. It would be a mistake to view You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger as a minor film in his filmography. It is true that the prolific filmmaker returns to a more classical scheme in his work by presenting a seemingly light comedy that employs some already known components from his previous opuses, as the presence of an omniscient voice-over or the character of an old man obsessed with death who leaves his wife to marry a young upstart bimbo and thus embraces a second youth. But this comedy conducted smoothly hides a pessimism and a darkness that make it more subtle than might meet the eye and, indeed, prevents it from being considered as a negligible part of the work of the author. When moving in familiar territory, as is the case here, either one gives in to boredom and fatigue, or one scratches a little the surface of the incredible situations and comic replies to realize that a certain melancholy, not to speak of neuroses, hide on second examination of the film.

The title itself has a double-meaning. It reads like a prediction among many others: Helena, newly divorced from her husband Alfie, consults a fortune teller whose every single word she takes in. As for the tall dark stranger, which the title refers to, it also symbolizes death, an obsession with old age, and the fear of reaching the end of one's life with a cruel sense of failure; as many anxieties that push the film's characters to make decisions that will disrupt their lives. Hence, Alfie is planning to remarry a woman of easy virtue, Sally's (daughter of Helena) husband leaves her for his young neighbor from the building opposite, and Sally leaves the art gallery for which she works to open her own. All are pursuing dreams, and in the struggle to achieve them, some throw themselves into inextricable situations. But as Woody Allen says, "to believe in fairy tales is the sine qua non in finding happiness within the tragedy we all live. Each finds his own parade to embroider and rationalize the drama that is human destiny." The film tells of small insignificant struggles in of themselves, but which allow the characters to continue to flirt with dreams, in the absence of hope. A small film, then, but of intrinsic depth, served by writing as alive as always and of incomparable directing. The cast, from Josh Brolin to Naomi Watts, via Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins, gives the film its character, and rides with ease in unusual registers. A gesture, a smile, a grin, a pose, suffice for these characters to exist and invest the frame while serving the director's approach: to entertain and entertain themselves by leaving behind morbid thoughts.

  Moland Fengkov
  Translated into English by Christina Azarnia

     Midnight in Paris review
     Match Point review
     Hollywood Ending review
     The Curse of the Jade Scorpion review

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