Woody's magical dialogue

Reviews of Magic In The Moonlight and Wish I Was Here


Magic in the Moonlight (12A)

Wish I was Here (15)

Whether just coincidence or a case of "movie mazel", there's a comforting Jewish presence at the cinema ahead of the festivals. Although Woody Allen is unlikely to be praying or fasting, he has made another film to follow swiftly on the Chanel coat-tails of the award-laden Blue Jasmine.

Woody can do no wrong in my eyes (I even rate Match Point) and this movie, starring Colin Firth as a world renowned magician (Wei Ling Soo) hired to expose the fakery of a beautiful clairvoyant (Emma Stone) is as airy and enjoyable as A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy.

It worries me that even my favourite director has fallen for Firth, whose appeal beyond a stammering King is a mystery to me.

Still, his reliable awkwardness works in his favour here, along with the damage limitations imposed by Woody's delicious dialogue in a likeably lightweight production.

For unadulterated screen Yiddishkeit, Zach Braff's Wish I Was Here is the definitive Jewish family movie featuring the Scrubs star as an out of work actor married to breadwinner Sarah (loveable Kate Hudson), with two children at a yeshivah.

Grandpa Gabe (Mandy Patinkin) is suddenly diagnosed with cancer, putting an end to him funding the education of the "indoctrinated matzah balls", aka grandchildren. Writer and director Braff has, in a warm and witty way, melded the content of a Friday-night dinner into a screenplay, so you get illness, broiges, guilt and reconciliation played out by top performers.

All that's missing is the soup, but I think you'll feel full without it.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive