You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger Woody Allen

You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger Woody Allen
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger may not rank as one of Woody Allen's best films, but it is one of the better movies of 2010, and with Woody's recent hit-or-miss track record, it's wise to celebrate his successes when they arise. With the famed director now in his mid-70s, Allen's recurring themes of self-delusion and mortality have never been more perceptive or sharply funny. Once again featuring a stellar cast, Stranger tells the story of a London couple who split after 40 years of marriage when Alfie (Anthony Hopkins) leaves Helena (Gemma Jones) for a more youthful lifestyle, including convertibles, exercising, clubbing and, of course, a fiancé half his age (Lucy Punch). Helena, meanwhile, is comforted by her visits to a fraudulent psychic (she gives Tarot card readings using playing cards) who tells her everything will work out fine. Her daughter, Sally (Naomi Watts), is also going through marriage troubles; her husband, Roy (Josh Brolin), refuses to start a family with her until he finishes his second novel, which isn't going well, leading Sally to develop feelings for her new boss (Antonio Banderas). Before it first came out, a lot of people assumed the "Woody Allen Character" of the film – the surrogate for the part he usually plays – was Josh Brolin's Roy, but the more comedic character is Alfie, and Anthony Hopkins nails the comic timing; it's nice to see him be funny in a movie that's not about exorcism. The biggest problem with some of Woody's recent films has been a sense that he's out of touch, that he's an older man trying to write as if he was still younger. That's not the problem here. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger is about coping with mortality, as well as the resilience of denial, and it's written with a maturity that could only come from an artist in their twilight years. The whole darkly comedic tone of the film can be seen in the title, which is one of Helena's psychic's prophesies. When she tells Sally, Roy responds: "I believe you'll meet the same tall, dark stranger we all eventually meet." As per usual with Woody Allen DVDs, there are no special features, unless you consider the theatrical trailer of the film you're about to watch "special." (Sony)