Murder Most Woody (Movie Thoughts: Irrational Man)

Irrational-Man_poster_goldposter_com_2Ten seconds into ‘Irrational Man,’  I realized I was about to watch a Woody Allen film when I saw the familiar background, that signature font, and the jazz instrumentals background. Then my heart skipped a bit. For whatever I feel for him as a person, I have always been a fan of Allen’s work. I remember being a young man in Manhattan in the mid 80s binge-watching his earlier movies because I thought it would give me a sense of the true spirit of being in New York City (It did.) Over the years, I won’t dispute the fact that the quality of his movies have ebbed and flowed, but I always say that it is like pizza – even bad ones satisfy. I know a lot of people think ‘Irrational Man’ fall under the bottom Allens, and I kind of disagree it is on the lower end. But I still found a lot to like about it. I liked Joaquin Phoenix’s everyday man performance – he was perfectly cast as the attractive/nebby college Philosophy professor, and I could easily imagine someone CPxIY2iWcAAOqi2like Emma Srone’s Jill get infatuated with him. But Still gives an unbelievably busy performance. Perhaps sensing how good Phoenix is, she becomes a little too earnest, and delivers a little too much. For a film about a perfect murder, Allen’s screenplay is on the lazy side. But somehow I never expected this film to solely focus on that. I think the film is more about the characters and their eccentricities. I don’t consider this one of Allen’s best, but I was never bored by it.

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