I went to see Irrational Man at the famous Angelika Theater in Soho. When I arrived I was a tad scared as I saw a huge line outside the theater. Maybe, I was channeling my inner Woody Allen — you know the scene in Annie Hall where he almost has a heart attack when an arrogant loudmouth behind him is giving his two cents on a director’s newest picture. Anyways, I came soon to find out that the line wasn’t for the movie. I pleasantly asked the clerk for one ticket to the 7:15 showing.
Irrational Man is the latest movie released by Sony Classic Pictures. Written and directed by the one and only Woody Allen. It stars; Joaquin Phoenix (Abe), Emma Stone (Jill), Jamie Blackley (Roy), and Parker Posey (Rita). This cynical-mystery drama follows Abe Lucas, who takes a new teaching job at Braylin College. In this sleepy small town he becomes highly impressed with of one of his students — Jill Pollard — played by Emma Stone. She’s a wide eyed thinker, naive and becomes extremely infatuated by Mr. Lucas. She “loathes” his dark wild mind and the duo quickly strike up a friendly relationship. Abe shortly finds himself in a love triangle when he meets fellow Professor Rita Richards (Parker Posey). She is also drawn to him. His salt and pepper hair, whiskey flask and bad boy persona keeps her asking for more. The women of this small town can not get enough of the “James Dean” of Braylin college, Mr. Abe Lucas.
Most of the plot follows Abe and Jill. Onscreen their relationship continues to grown deep yet, they are not always on the same page. The age difference becomes apparent and Jill’s boyfriend Roy (Jamie Blackley) soon finds himself being pushed out of the picture, due to Jill being in denial. One day, she and Abe are eating at a local diner. They find themselves overhearing a conversation. A mother is finding herself in between a bitter custody battle with her ex-husband. She is completely shattered when a judge’s rulling is unfavorable to her. As Abe listens to the conversation he quickly finds joy in redemption. He becomes obsessed with helping this mother find justice, and wants to be her mystery defender. Jill, Abe and Rita all lightly discuss this poor mother’s fate.
Little do they know, Abe is coming up with the perfect way to execute the perfect crime. In his eyes, the judge must “GO.” The thought of “offing” the judge seems to turn Abe on. It opens a vessel and allows excitement and creativity back in his life. He feels liberated knowing that justice will soon be served and the cloud over his mind will be washed away hopefully never to return.
The movie continues through twist and turns, as the audience wonders if this small town professor is really going to go through with this “irrational plan.” I really loved this movie, because like most of Woodly Allen films, it has a dynamic cast and the relationships are honest and real.
Love, passion, and wanting to be accepted by others is what many of us seek daily. I myself find great pleasure in being wanted and helping others, while another part of me is like Abe — sometimes, dark, cold, removed and not being stimulated at times with the world around me. To me, this is a must see movie.
Now, I’m not going to give the ending away. But, the climax is not what I would have thought. Bravo Woody! It was well excuted and filled with hidden life messages. Whether we have been a seeker of justice, a young girl falling for the wrong man, a married woman wanting more out of the “box” she lives in, or a man of great wisdom and knowledge, yet so insecure with feeling as if he has no purpose in life, we have all had times of irrational thoughts that lead to actions, and so we too are, the “Irrational Man.”
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