Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Irrational Man


Woody Allen’s film-of-the-year this time around is about a murder, but since it’s Woody, there is a different slant to it. Joaquin Phoenix is a deeply depressed and disillusioned philosophy professor newly arrived at a small college in Rhode Island. Emma Stone is one of his students who quickly falls in love with him. It’s all pretty damn dry for the first twenty minutes or so. Watching a gloomy man discuss Heidegger and other laugh-a-minute cerebral krauts is not my idea of a good time. I believe that most intellectual philosophy is just jacking off without the release at the end. But then it picks up as Joaquin discovers something that rekindles his interest in life: killing someone and getting away with it. He starts off well. The key is picking someone who is not a very nice person, but who you really don’t know at all. It’s a bit like Strangers on a Train, without the quid pro quo. Naturally, Emma eventually begins to suspect him. So what will she do? Let him get away with it? Turn him in? I am sorry to say that the ending felt more than a bit like a cheat. This one will never be on my list of Woody’s Greatest. So, on to the 2016 Woody Allen Project, untitled at this writing.