(2014) (Colin Firth, Emma Stone) (PG-13)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Comedy: A 1920s era magician who specializes in debunking anything supernatural must contend with a young spiritualist who might just be the real deal.
- It's 1928 and Stanley Crawford (COLIN FIRTH) is an Englishman who performs magic acts under the guise of a Chinese conjuror known as Wei Ling Soo. He's quite good at what he does, but he has few friends due to his ego and condescending attitude toward most everyone but his fiancée.
Aside from his magic, he's also known for debunking spiritual fraudsters who take advantage of those gullible enough to belief their paranormal claims. It's that reputation that's caused one of his few friends and fellow magician, Howard Burkan (SIMON MCBURNEY), to call him to the south of France to expose the latest such clairvoyant medium.
She's Sophie Baker (EMMA STONE), a young American who's traveling the world with her stage mother/manager, Mrs. Baker (MARCIA GAY HARDEN), shocking people with her ability to conjure up little known facts about people, conduct séances and so on. Her latest target is the Catledge family, a wealthy clan of aristocrats where the matriarch, Grace (JACKI WEAVER), wants to communicate with her late husband, all while Grace's son, Brice (HAMISH LINKLATER), has become enamored with Sophie and wants to marry her. His sister, Caroline (ERICA LEERHSEN), and her husband, George (JEREMY SHAMOS), had previously brought in Howard to prove Sophie to be a fraud, but so far he says he's been unable to figure out her trick.
Stanley, who uses the trip as a good reason to visit his Aunt Vanessa (EILEEN ATKINS), is certain he won't have similar problems as his success rate at debunking such people so far has been perfect. Yet, as he ends up surprised by details Sophie reveals that she couldn't possibly know otherwise, Stanley begins to ponder if she might actually be the real thing with such real powers. As he continues his quest to see if that's true or not, his outlook on life begins to change.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- If they're fans of Woody Allen movies and/or anyone in the cast, they might. Otherwise, it's highly unlikely.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
- For a brief suggestive comment, and smoking throughout.
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