You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

Rated 3.0

Woody Allen’s latest seems like a commercial for the lifestyle brand of his own prolific process: the functional, yet decorative, mixed bag. This time, it’s Allen the adequate writer and robust director, with another fleet ensemble probe of morality and mortality, more comedy than not. Two married couples—Anthony Hopkins and Gemma Jones, Naomi Watts and Josh Brolin—discover the follies and transitory consolations of dalliances with a hooker (Lucy Punch), a boss (Antonio Banderas), a neighbor (Freida Pinto), and, perhaps most troublingly, a psychic (Pauline Collins). Only Brolin seems miscast, but everyone’s game, and off they all run through their needy delusions and the indolent gearwork of the script, fastidiously clothed by Beatrix Aruna Pasztor and shot by Vilmos Zsigmond all the while. As is par for Allen’s course of late, there is a sense of merely going through motions, but also of getting somewhere—having pushed through bemusement, skepticism and cynicism to arrive at a kind of remittal.