It seems now that if you wander the streets of any major city outside the United States (London and Barcelona have become his favorite homes away from home), you run the risk of bumping into the displaced New York City neuroses of Woody Allen or his ever-changing cast of dopplegangers. I have to say I believe his head games travel well, and there’s an almost renewed sense of life in him as a filmmaker with the likes of Cassandra’s Dream, Match Point and Vicky Cristina Barcelona as strong evidence of his resurgence.
And with his latest, the cryptically titled You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Allen reaches out to a thoroughly eclectic group of collaborators (Naomi Watt, Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins, Antonio Banderas and Freida Pinto, to name a few here) for a tale of marital discord with the fickleness of fate reshuffling the deck against a multi-generational gaggle of would-be lovers. The story seeks to approximate the feel of Shakespeare (think A Midsummer Night’s Dream possibly without the overt presence of magic or Kenneth Branagh’s earthy Much Ado About Nothing), but it remains very much a Woody Allen affair, tongue-tied and twisted up in its own head a bit too much for its own good.
While it doesn’t quite match his stellar Match Point or the fiery romance of Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Allen's new Stranger is an alluring stop on his long dark journey. Grade: B-
Opens Oct 15. Check out theaters and show times, see the trailer and get theater details here.