|Freida Pinto & Josh Brolin in You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger|
Having written, directed - and often starred in - a movie every year since 1971 (give or take a couple of years), you can be forgiven for not having seen every Woody Allen film. A few slightly below great – and even bordering on average - may well be expected (Play it Again Sam, Scoop), but he obviously delivers on plenty (Annie Hall, Deconstructing Harry, Celebrity).
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger boasts an impressive cast. Another one of his films to be set in London (after Match Point and Cassandra’s Dream), the film follows Helena (Gemma Jones; Bridget Jones’s Diary) and Alfie (Anthony Hopkins) after a divorce, ending a forty year marriage, and their daughter, Sally (Naomi Watts) and husband, Roy (Josh Brolin). Throw Antonio Banderas and Lucy Punch (Dinner for Schmucks) into the mix too, as possible love interests for the married and divorced main characters, along with smaller parts from Anna Friel, Ewen Bremner (Trainspotting), Christian McKay (Me and Orson Welles) and Philip Glenister (Life on Mars) and you can see Allen is still respected among his peers.
|Gemma Jones and Naomi Watts in You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger|
The story has many decent elements that play themselves out well. Helena’s dependence on a phoney fortune teller after the marriage, Alfie’s mid-life crisis – complete with the cringe worthy love affair with a younger woman - in his seventies and Roy’s struggle to write a second novel - along with his way of eventually remedying that - are the best that spring to mind. It is all very Allen, of course, with his cynical view of relationships on full show once again; a turnaround of views from a window for one character is particularly clever.
And yes, of course Allen has another one due for next year – the Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Adrien Brody led Midnight in Paris is currently in post-production. It’s about relationships, or something, apparently.
You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger is showing at Broadway until Thursday 31 March