Woody Allen has been earning some of his best reviews since “Blue Jasmine” for his Cannes out-of-competition premiere “Irrational Man,” starring Joaquin Phoenix as a philosophy professor stuck in an existential mire. This leads to entanglements with two women: Rita (Parker Posey), a colleague bored in her marriage, and Jill, the brainy student (Emma Stone) for whom he falls.
“With its grim turn of events, ‘Irrational Man’ enters ‘Crimes and Misdemeanors’ territory, catapulting its witty banter into increasingly nefarious developments. Even then, however, ‘Irrational Man’ retains a playful tone,” writes Indiewire’s Eric Kohn, one of several critics to point out “Irrational Man”‘s connection to Allen’s 1989 “Crimes” and his 2005 “Match Point,” which was a sort-of Dostoevskian reinvention of that earlier film. Variety calls “Irrational Man,” Allen’s 45th feature, “a darkly funny, intellectually rigorous campus comedy.”
In the clips below, Stone, while popping a pain pill, explains why she’s just not into Phoenix’s Abe Lucas; meanwhile, Posey tries to seduce Phoenix out of his mental block in the other clip.
Sony Pictures Classics opens “Irrational Man” on July 17. The film should keep fans happy.