Woody Allen is a filmmaker who I always wish was a Catholic. He observes human nature brilliantly and knows how to portray that in film; he has an erudite wit and he seems to be able to write this into the dialogue of his characters without it coming across as forced or affected; and he knows how to reflect a philosophical outlook in that dialogue in such a way that even if you don’t agree with it, you find yourself enjoying the film and laughing at his jokes. The problem with many of his films is that while he very often knows how to portray the absurdity of modern philosophy, he does not always leave you with a good alternative. Sometimes, from the message portrayed in his films, you wonder if he is unsure himself what the answers are. When he does seem to offer answers, it has looked to me as if he is trying to justify whatever aspect of his tumultuous personal life most recently hit the news.
If only he was a Catholic, or alternatively we had Catholics who knew how to make films like Woody Allen, how much greater would those films be. Also, I would say in order to encourage any Catholic filmmakers out there, the films would be even more successful as a result because they would now represent more fully what is good and what is true. When any art form does this well, then it will have mass appeal for it will have greater beauty too.
When I saw Woody Allen’s latest film, the Irrational Man I wondered if (at the age of 79), he is changing. You will have to watch the film to see the plot, but in general terms, this one struck me as a new version of his 1989 film Crimes and Misdemeanors. Both have the well crafted dialogue and nicely observed human interactions in the context of the confused sexual politics of the liberal elite. And both have a murder in which the film examines the how the conscience of the murderer reacts and changes over time, placing this in the context of right and wrong.
There are two differences. First, the Irrational Man is not as funny – in this sense it is a little disappointing, but perhaps you need to the comic genius Allen himself or Alan Alda, who star in the earlier film, to deliver the (Read More)