"witty, charming, and beautiful to look at"

Following on from the success of Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen is back with another film, this time set to the backdrop of the exquisite French Riviera, following the exploits of Stanley (Colin Firth) as he’s brought in to unmask a possible fraudulent spiritualist in the shape of the alluring Sophie (Emma Stone).

Right off the bat, the film is beautiful, with the idyllic landscapes that one would expect from the French countryside. Allen knows the country well, and he continues his love affair with it. Coupled with the upbeat music as per the time period, this film excellently gels together.

The performances are wonderful; leading the pack are Firth and Stone, who really complement one another: their back and forth is both charming and amusing. Firth is the hapless Englishman, and is very by the book, not believing in the otherworldly,  whilst Stone is his polar opposite: a free spirited young woman, that is the embodiment of everything he's not, but wants.

Magic in the Moonlight is packed with talent – it’s not only Firth and Stone that shine here. The supporting cast are brilliant, too. Simon McBurney is great as Howard, who is Stanley's oldest friend, and initially brings his pal in to debunk the claims that Sophie is a real spiritualist. Eileen Atkins stands out as Stan's Aunt Vanessa, whilst Marcia Gay Harden's Mrs. Baker (Sophie's mother) is a delight to watch.

However, Hamish Linklater's Brice was a little jarring for my tastes, but I guess he was written that way. His off-key serenading of Sophie was frankly terrible, but didn't detract from the overall film because, fortunately, it wasn't overused.

Allen’s 45th film is wonderful. It's witty, charming, and beautiful to look at, and in my opinion a total triumph. It’s wondrously poetic and intellectually dazzling, serving as further proof that Allen is among the greatest working directors today.