Saturday, May 3, 2014

Scoop (2006)


 “I wouldn't be surprised if he asked me to marry him someday.”
“You come from an orthodox family, would they accept a serial killer?”

            The world of magic and spirits is something that interest me. Magic I think is a great trick of the mind and spirits are something I think do exist but I do not believe in ghosts. I do like movies that mix magic and the spirit world together such as The Illusionist. I did not know that Woody Allen’s 2006 movie Scoop was about magic and spirits until I started watching it. It was very funny and very clever.
            A journalist named Joe Strombel has died. His friends talk about how he would always scoop everyone and never missed out on investigating a case. They say he would like the case of the Tarot Card Killer. Well, it turns out they are right. Joe is traveling on the Styx with a group of people. He begins speaking to a woman who tells him she was a secretary to Peter Lyman (Hugh Jackman) and that she found tarot cards like the ones from the case in his office. She believe Peter poisoned her because she was about to inform on him. Joe thinks this would make a great story. He has to somehow tell someone. He jumps into the water and swims away to find that person.  
            Sondra Pransky (Scarlett Johansen) is a journalism student visiting friends in London. She had planned on interviewing a famous director but that interview does not go over too well. Her friend takes her to a magic show. She gets called upstage for a show and placed in a box. In the box Joe Strombel appears to her. Joe tells Sondra that Peter Lyman is the Tarot Card Killer and that she needs to publish the story. Sondra is freaked out she cannot believe what has just happened.
            The following day Sondra goes to the magician whose real name is Sidney Waterman (Woody Allen). She wants to go into the box again to see if Joe will appear again. Joe does not appear again. Sidney wants to help Sondra there is something about her he likes. She finds out through her friend she is staying with that Peter goes swimming at a club where her father is a member. Sondra takes Sidney to the club. She has no idea how to get Peter’s attention. Sidney comes up with the idea to pretend she is drowning. The plan works with Peter saving her. Sondra lies about her name and what she does for a living and that Sidney is her father. Peter invites her and Sidney to his house the next for tea.
            As time goes on Sondra falls in love with Peter and cannot believe that he would be the killer. Sidney, however, has been listening to his gut as well as to Joe Strombel and finds some clues and sees the case logically.
            Scoop was a fun movie. I have not seen too many Woody Allen movies, in fact I think besides Midnight in Paris Scoop is the only one of his movies I have seen. I thought the dialogue was hilarious and the characters of Joe, Sondra, and Sidney were well acted and written. Scarlett Johansen and Woody Allen had a nice chemistry I liked all their scenes. I normally do not really care for Johansen but I can see now that she does have a good range as an actress she played the comedic scenes very well. I did not like Hugh Jackman in the role of Peter Lyman and I am not sure if it was down to his acting to the character seeming to be poorly written. The story with its mix of magic and spirits was an original and entertaining comedy. Scoop is a fun movie to watch definitely give it a try.