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You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger - Film Review

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Published December 23rd 2012
Woody does it again
Image courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger - a film written and directed by Woody Allen and set in London, follows the ups and downs of the lives of Aflie Shepridge (Anthony Hopkins) and Helena Shepridge (Gemma Jones) as well as Sally (Naomi Watts) - their daughter, and her husband Roy (Josh Brolin).

Image courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Woody Allen, whose recent successes have included Match Point (2005) and the wonderful Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) puts together a very watchable film centred around the idea of faith and how we work to delude ourselves in our everyday lives. Helena (Jones) has been left by her husband Alfie (Hopkins) after forty years of marriage. Her daughter Sally (Watts) knowing that her mother needs 'a little something' in her life puts Helena onto a fake fortune teller Cristal (played by the wonderful Pauline Collins) and actively encourages Helena to see her. Some of the funniest scenes in this movie are between Cristal and Helena.

Image courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Helena is crippled by the fact her husband has left her and Alfie - afraid of being alone after making the choice to leave his wife marries prostitute Charmaine Foxx (Lucy Punch) who is cast wonderfully as the opportunistic 'wife' of Alfie.

Image courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Sally has marriage problems of her own - her writer husband Roy who has yet to follow up on the success of one his earlier novels - constantly fight. Roy becomes enchanted by Dia (Freida Pinto from Slumdog Millionaire) - 'the woman in red' whom he watches through an apartment window. Sally too develops a crush - on her art dealer boss played by Antonio Banderas.

What follows is a comedy of errors as Sally, Aflie, Helena and Roy try and make some sense of their lives in the continuing chaos that their choices create.

Image courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Woody Allen captures perfectly the frailty of human relationships, placing the Shepridge family and all those that come into contact with them under the microscope. Are Sally, Roy, Helena and Alfie the victims of fate or their misguided choices? Woody Allen doesn't answer this question but instead serves up a slice of life that will leave you wondering… is it better to believe blindly? Or is faith for fools?

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*Jemma Goodchild was invited as a guest
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Why? It will make you laugh as well as cry!
Cost: The price of a movie ticket!
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