Another one for the vaults

Another one for the vaults

November 04, 2012
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With countless works of film, drama, music, fiction and even stand-up comedy under his belt, 'versatile' hardly begins to describe Woody Allen. Now 74, he still has the ability to make us laugh at his characters - but even more so at ourselves.

Written and directed by Allen, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger follows the lives of a family in crisis. Alfie (Anthony Hopkins) leaves Helena (Gemma Jones), his wife of 40 years, to marry a young actress. Their daughter Sally (Naomi Watts) and her husband Roy (Josh Brolin) are on the verge of divorce, which is when Dia (Freida Pinto), a neighbour, and Greg (Antonio Banderas), Helena's boss, enter the story as temptation figures.

A lot of the scenes have a theatrical feel, with minimal cuts and extended dialogues which move from one room to the next as the characters themselves do, bringing a realism to the shot.

The story branches into multiple subplots with multiple characters. Often one scene inexplicably jumps to the next, adding to the sense of disarray.

But a narrator (voiced by Zak Orth) moves the story along. A lot of the tongue-in-cheek humour comes from this omniscient voice and his timely snide comments.

Allen is often a victim of his own success - you can't help but compare every new film to everything else in his catalogue. Although not one of his best, this is still a must for any Allen fan.

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