starring Jamie Blackley, Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey
written and directed by Woody Allen
by Angelo Muredda There's an odd, mean little movie kicking around in Irrational Man, if you can sift past the tired bromides about love and continental philosophy to find it. The fifty-first feature from the not-so-venerable Woody Allen reads like a work of sloppy automatic writing given some surprisingly rich shading by an alert, unpredictable performance from Joaquin Phoenix and the steady hand of Allen the director, who once again proves he's as efficient at handling the near-screwball mechanics and black pitch of crime pictures as he is inept at romantic comedies. A nominal May-December romance about an aging fusspot granted a new lease on life by a twentysomething sunflower, Irrational Man is a far more disquieting film than its marketing would suggest--if not a confession of the director's real-life pathologies, then one of the most incisive profiles of a sociopath ever tucked into the back of a dark comedy.