Magic in the Moonlight trailer

2014 is turning out to be a big year for Emma Stone. She’s already had one big hit in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and has projects with Cameron Crowe and Alejandro González Iñárritu opening later this year. In between, she stars in Magic in the Moonlight, the latest from the prolific Woody Allen.

The Jazz Age dramedy stars Stone as a spirit medium who has won over a wealthy family in the South of France. Not everyone is totally convinced of her supernatural talents, though, and a stage magician (Colin Firth) is sent to debunk her. (So he’s a bit inspired by Harry Houdini, then?) Watch the first Magic in the Moonlight trailer after the jump.

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Joaquin Phoenix Woody Allen

Briefly: A few years ago, after the near-debacle of I’m Still Here, the future career of Joaquin Phoenix seemed to be in doubt. Not that his ability was ever in question — Phoenix is among the most talented actors working today — but his willingness to deal with the business end of the job seemed to have disappeared. But after The Master and Her, there’s no question that Phoenix is still going strong. Later this year he’s got another collaboration coming up with Paul Thomas Anderson: the Thomas Pynchon adaptation Inherent Vice.

Now Phoenix has been revealed as the star of Woody Allen‘s next project. (Or one of the stars, at least.) As is typical with Allen’s films in development, we have no info on the project. We don’t know what the tone or concept might be, or who Phoenix will play, or even the title of the movie. But we’ll take another role from Phoenix any day, whatever it might be. [Deadline]

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Briefly: It will come as a surprise to no one that Sony Pictures Classics has picked up North American distribution rights to Woody Allen‘s new movie Magic in the Moonlight, and along with the announcement we’ve got the first plot details for the film. We’ve known that the cast features Emma Stone and Marcia Gay Harden (seen above) with Colin FirthEileen Atkins, Hamish Linklater, Simon McBurneyJacki WeaverJeremy Shamos and Erica Leerhsen. Now we know what they’ll be doing.

Specifically, the Sony Classics announcement says “Magic in the Moonlight is a romantic comedy about an Englishman brought in to help unmask a possible swindle.  Personal and professional complications ensue. The film is set in the south of France in the 1920s against a backdrop of wealthy mansions, the Côte d’Azur, jazz joints and fashionable spots for the wealthy of the Jazz Age.”

There’s no release date for the film at this point, but a Cannes debut doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect.

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Is it weird to watch Woody Allen working as a self-styled pimp, given his own, er, unusual sexual history? Maybe so, and perhaps that just makes this new trailer for John Turturro‘s film Fading Gigolo more, er, striking. I keep waiting for the whole thing to be revealed as an extended dream sequence, given that the plot has the Normal Guy played by Turturro turning into a $1000-per night gigolo thanks to the efforts of his pal, played by Allen. We’re given an intro via two gorgeous women (Sharon Stone and Sofía Vergara) who want a threesome, with Vergara even offering up that “a woman is meant to be looked at.” Seriously.

Lest you think this is all just a self-serving wish-fulfillment act from Turturro, note that The Playlist called the film “odd, uneven and yet engaging” after its premiere at TIFF, and noted that the best parts of the picture turn up via Turturro’s relationship with a widow played by Vanessa Paradis.  That makes it sound like some reality does tap the main character on the shoulder sooner or later, which may be good to know. in the meantime, take in the new trailer below. Read More »

Bullets Over Broadway (movie)

In an entirely appropriate twist, Woody Allen‘s Bullets Over Broadway is now itself headed to Broadway. At the helm of the new show is Susan Stroman, who just so happens to have previous experience directing Broadway plays about Broadway plays — she previously directed and choreographed The Producers and picked up a couple of Tonys for her trouble.

Leading the musical production as naive playwright David Shayne is Zach Braff, of Scrubs and Garden State fame. How does he measure up to John Cusack, who played the role in Allen’s 1994 movie? See for yourself with a first-look image after the jump.

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The last few years have seen a great career upswing for Woody Allen, as his film Midnight in Paris helped re-ignite broad audience interest in his movies, and became his greatest commercial success. Blue Jasmine, starring Cate Blanchett, had a good run earlier this year, and now Allen is finishing his next film.

The new movie takes place in southern France and spans a couple of decades, roughly through the ’20s and ’30s. It stars Eileen Atkins, Colin Firth, Marcia Gay Harden, Hamish Linklater, Simon McBurney, Emma Stone, and Jacki Weaver. Now the title has been revealed to be Magic in the Moonlight (cringe) and the first production stills have also been unveiled. That’s one, above, and there’s a good shot of Firth below. Read More »

Woody Allen

Everyone wants Woody Allen, it seems. Just as the director’s new film, Blue Jasmine, is hitting theaters, the filmmaker finds himself in demand from more than one territory.

Last week he revealed that he’s been offered money to produce a film in Stockholm, Sweden. And now the mayor of Rio de Janeiro says he’ll fully fund a feature if Allen will make it in his city. Read More »

Fading Gigolo

John Turturro probably isn’t the first person who comes to mind when you think of a prostitute, and Woody Allen is no one’s idea of a stereotypical pimp. Nor would you think Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara would be the first in line to utilize their services. But all of this unexpected casting comes together in Fading Gigolo, the upcoming TIFF comedy written by, directed by, and starring Turturro.

Fioravante (Turturro) is a florist in need of some extra cash, who turns to prostitution with the assistance of his bookseller pal Murray (Allen). The first trailer is mostly just lighthearted fun and games, but presumably they run into some kind of conflict somewhere down the line. Watch the video after the jump.

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