Anthony Hopkins was back on home soil for the latest Anthony Hopkins movie set in London, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, written and directed by Woody Allen, with a suitable all-star cast who do more than justice to this fascinating, swift-paced comedy/drama movie.
People generally either love or hate Woody Allen movies, very rarely does he evoke a luke warm reaction with his philosophising and musing. This Allen movie too explores the meaning of life and the belief that our very existence is meaningless, focussing on mortality, although this does not overwhelm the screenplay. However, serious undertones do lie beneath the light-hearted title and upbeat narrative, but there are laughs along the way, some surprising twists and the characters are fully fleshed out for us to identify with them and their very real concerns and fears.
This human tale reaches into the lives and troubled relationships between two couples and plays out their dreams and escapades in their various irrational attempts to escape reality and unpleasant truths, inevitably only leading to heartache and yet more trouble.
Anthony Hopkins plays Alfie, a middle-aged married man who suddenly gets a wake-up call and decides to go in search of his long lost youth, divorcing his wife of many years, Helena (Gemma Jones) for the much younger Charmaine (Lucy Punch). The new slimmer Anthony Hopkins plays a most credible Alfie and appears to be having great fun running around with the wild-child Charmaine, his new wife. Meanwhile Helena is devastated and following therapy which does no good at all, she seeks advice from a fortune teller Cristal (Pauline Collins) and then Helena becomes romantically involved with a man who seems to have as many problems as her.
Naomi Watts is Sally, the daughter of Alfie and Helena, she too has relationahip issues, unhappily married to struggling novelist Roy (Josh Brolin). Sally seems to think a baby will solve their marital problems but Roy wants success first. Both Sally and Roy fall for others romantically, with Antonio Banderas playing Greg, Sally’s good looking boss at the art gallery where she works, he too has marriage troubles and is seeking solace in the arms of a younger woman. The glamorous Freida Pinto as Dia provides Roy with a love interest with whom he becomes obsessed.
Sex, beauty (the movie is beautifully filmed with Woody Allen having shot the scenes from the viewers’ perspective) betrayal, irony and wit – all the ingredients are there, all delivered eloquently by each and every actor.
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