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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2016

entry arrow6:27 AM | Film Log 10: Irrational Man

A philosophy professor escapes from life by taking up a job teaching at a small and gossipy college. His demons follow him, and with that his reputation as a campus cad. That does not stop two women -- a colleague and a student -- from falling in love with him. And so he turns to the only thing he can do to make life matter: plot out a murder. That should make for a fascinating film but what an unexpectedly tedious film Woody Allen's Irrational Man (2015) turned out to be. Maybe not tedious. Maybe the word boring, or repetitive, or unnecessary would suffice to describe this story that borrows the dilemma from Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and sprinkles it with a collegiate setting, a mouthful of philosophy, and well-treaded elements from Crimes and Misdemeanors, Matchpoint, and all other Allen films where an older man falls for a younger woman. Of course, Allen is known to recycle many of his plot points, but this film seems to go the extra mile to seem irrelevant: it has none of the wit of Allen's best. You can tell where the story is headed from a mile away, and every exchange in this film feels forced, contrived, dispirited. Considering that this stars Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, and Parker Posey, it's a waste of talent and a waste of an opportunity. I am a huge Woody Allen fan, and this feels like a huge let-down. ★★☆☆☆

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