I’m keeping my expectations tempered for Woody Allen’s 2014 project, “Magic in the Moonlight” — which officially revealed its title today, along with a couple of first-look images. It’s been a while since Allen strung together two successful films in a row, so after the justly acclaimed (and unexpectedly popular) “Blue Jasmine,” recent form dictates that his follow-up will be more of a “To Rome With Love.”
But patterns, like rules, are there to be broken, so here’s hoping that “Moonlight” is at least a charming diversion. As usual with Allen’s films at this stage — the film is currently in post-production — we have no details of the script to go on.
This much we do know: it’s set in the south of France, so it’ll be picturesque. The new images, meanwhile, suggest it might be a period piece, unless the cars and cloche hats are a mere affectation. The time-travelling “Midnight in Paris” not withstanding, Allen hasn’t done a complete period piece since “The Curse of the Jade Scorpion” in 2001.
The cast is starry — but when isn’t it with Woody? As we learned in July, Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Marcia Gay Harden, Jacki Weaver and Eileen Atkins are on board; the principal cast (those, in other words, that get alphabetically listed in those trademark credits) also includes Hamish Linklater (“The Future,” “Battleship”) and Simon McBurney (“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”). Catherine McCormack, Erica Leehrsen, Paul Ritter and Jeremy Shamos co-star. Lots of Woody first-timers in there: it should be fun to see Stone, in particular, sparking to Allen’s dialogue with her own zesty comic timing. Harden and Weaver, meanwhile, seem like a natural fit for the director; it still surprises me that Harden hasn’t done an Allen film before.
So, is Woody going all “Downton Abbey” on us, with a Continental twist? Are you confident that he can deliver on the renewed promise of “Blue Jasmine?” And what do make of “Magic in the Moonlight” as a title? Sounds a mite precious to me, but that didn’t hurt “Midnight in Paris” any. Tell us in the comments.