A tormented Philosophy professor, Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix), finds a will to live when he commits an existential act.
Yet another quirky Woody Allen film, this time about an alcoholic professor of Philosophy who decides to help a Woman whose husband has been given custody of their children. Needless to say, the father is not the right person for the children to be with but a Federal Court Judge says he is. So, fait accompli, or is it?
Because the film is about Philosophy, the methods of self-persuasion are actually pretty well constructed. And, for a bit I found myself immersed in Abe's theories but of course there are flaws, MAJOR FLAWS.
His idea is to poison the Judge and then the woman will get her children back. So, Abe swaps juice cups with the Judge in a Park, he then has to act his way through surprise. And, I will hold on to my juice cup tightly in future. Yeesh.
Macabre it is. But typical Woody Allen, in the fact that it is still amusing. Despite.
Jill Pollard (Emma Stone) is very art philosophical and in some ways still just very young and naive. Not the first time I've looked back at myself and thought that's me.
So, back to the business at hand, Newspaper reports are claiming that the Judge was poisoned and despite all this Abe and Rita Richards (Parker Posey) are still smitten. Is no one connecting the dots?!!
And, thus the chaos unravels a surreptitious plot. Rita becomes suspicious (just like that) and breaks into Abe's house for cues. The smart girl has figured it out with help from Abe who had her key to the poisons room stolen.
As the plot finale unravels people are openly talking about Abe and it is now common knowledge that he is a suspect.
Abe fixes the elevator prior to Jill surprising him at her piano class. An epic struggle at the elevator shaft sees Abe and not Jill flailing and falling.
Honestly, who would trust anyone after this?
Jill knew Abe was guilty in her heart, as did Rita but still both women continue to pine for him.
The thing about his decision to help the woman who had lost her children was that it set him free. He was no longer weighed down by the burden of alcohol and he saw himself as a hero.
Well written, acted and directed.
The film earned roughly $27mil at the Worldwide Box Office.