Irrational Man is a typically adroit Woody Allen hybrid. What begins as a Manhattan-esque love triangle segues quickly into Manhattan Murder Mystery crime-solving capers, with a heavy dose of moralistic musings à la Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Joaquin Phoenix broods, ruminates and schemes convincingly, while Emma Stone and Parker Posey are both sharp and engaging. However, the female characters here are given none of the acute realistic brilliance that has facilitated others’ past Oscar wins. The plot is canny and absorbing, yet lacks the emotional depth of Allen’s best films, and is wrapped up a touch too swiftly.
A satisfying melting pot of other Allen movies, with enough spark and wry black wit to sate Woody fans, but not enough cohesiveness and scope to win over his critics.
CAST: Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey, Jamie Blackley
DIRECTOR: Woody Allen
WRITER: Woody Allen
SYNOPSIS: When morose philosophy professor Abe (Phoenix) joins Braylin college, both exuberant student Jill (Stone) and romantically-disenchanted colleague Rita (Posey) attempt to reinvigorate him with their advances, but Abe finds the antidote to his angst through more dubious means.