These “transfer” reviews are from when I only did reviews on my Facebook page back in 2015. Bare in mind when reading these, I didn’t have the same formula in my review writing that I do now, and my usual “who starred and who directed” information is completely absent, so everything “italicized” is new. With that said, enjoy this review from 2015.
Alright, I’m just going to throw this out there before anyone gets too excited. I am not a Woody Allen fan. Not because I don’t like his work, but because I haven’t seen much. In fact, the only two movies of his that I HAVE seen are this, and ANNIE HALL (shyeah, big shocker, so has everyone else on this planet). I honestly don’t know why I don’t see more of his work, I just don’t hear too many people talk about them. I might have to rectify that one day, but for now, I went and saw IRRATIONAL MAN. I didn’t go in with high expectations, but now I have an opinion.
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix (YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE , and upcoming films DON’T WORRY, HE WON’T GET FAR ON FOOT  and THE SISTERS BROTHERS ), Emma Stone (BATTLE OF THE SEXES , LA LA LAND , and upcoming films THE FAVOURITE  and THE CROODS 2 ), Jamie Blackley (upcoming films SLAUGHTERHOUSE RULEZ  and THE POSTCARD KILLINGS ), Parker Posey (COLUMBUS , CAFÉ SOCIETY , and upcoming films THE CON IS ON  and ELSEWHERE ), and Ethan Phillips (THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR )
Director/Writer: Woody Allen (WONDER WHEEL , CAFÉ SOCIETY, and the upcoming A RAINY DAY IN NEW YORK )
Cinematographer: Darius Khondji (THE LOST CITY OF Z )
Editors: Alisa Lepselter (WONDER WHEEL, CAFÉ SOCIETY, and the upcoming A RAINY DAY IN NEW YORK)
This is my honest opinion of: IRRATIONAL MAN
Abe (Joaquin Phoenix) is a depressed philosophy professor. He’s brilliant, but mopey, very bleak outlook on life. Jill (Emma Stone) loves Abe’s ideas and is more than excited to be taking his class. Turns out, she’s actually pretty smart too, and Abe takes notice. The two eventually start up a friendship, but slowly develops into romance. However, Abe doesn’t want to persue the relationship because Jill is currently in a relationship with another guy, Roy (Jamie Blackley), constantly stating that she’s not ready to commit to one guy. Their relationship doesn’t seem to affect Abe too much, until one day they’re eating in a diner and overhear a conversation in the booth next to them. This woman is about to lose custody of her children because the judge presiding over their case is a penis-wrinkle asshole who is about to give said kids to the father, even though he’s negligent and unfit. Abe starts fuming over this idea and comes up with one of his own: kill the judge.
I literally spent the entire day debating if I actually wanted to go out to see this movie. I wasn’t overly interested (again, not a Woody Allen fan), but my dear lord in Heaven am I glad I did.
Originally, I thought it was about a depressed dude who finds a girl who gives him new purpose in life… and that’s it. Nothing else concrete or ground-breaking. But then there’s a plot to kill someone thrown in there and it’s fucking hilarious. I found so much enjoyment watching Abe get so excited and passionate about killing a dude who probably deserves to die.
Even once the deed is done, there’s whole scenes dedicated to side characters trying to figure out how he could have died, right in front of Abe no less, who even joins in on the theories. It doesn’t get any funnier than when Jill figures EVERYTHING out… and doesn’t realize that the killer is sitting RIGHT NEXT TO HER, calling her brilliant for figuring it out. Such a great line in that scene too: “it’s like having a full house in your hand, but just casually chit-chatting away with the players, but ever cautious that you might be beaten by a flush or a 4-of-a-kind.” I’m paraphrasing it, by the way, but Phoenix’s delivery was brilliant.
The movie isn’t exactly original in its approach to either side of the genre it’s tackling (the romance side and the murder-mystery side), but the way they weave it together feels pretty organic to the story and makes sense that the characters would make the decisions they do. And there’s a lot of build up to everything as well and the payoff is always satisfying.
If I had any particular beef with the movie is the character Jill. God bless Stone for almost making me not see how unlikable she is, but I couldn’t help in thinking that this girl is incredibly selfish. She’s already in a relationship with a decent guy who’s crazy about her. But all of a sudden, just because he’s smart and troubled, she falls head over heels for this guy. To boot, he’s her teacher. Fuck, why can’t these bitches just have some consideration and NOT put these guys in a situation that could result in a loss of their jobs and license? You know what, lets be fair, affairs are a two-way road. Why can’t guys just not get a hard-on for every single pair of tits that shows up and not put their own jobs at risk? And all this bullshit about, “we aren’t exclusive” or “I didn’t agree to commit to one guy,” so by that logic, have you been cheating on him more than once? Did you make this known to him? If the answer is no, then… why the fuck not? Some guy’s feelings would be affected if he found out. And I love how you “don’t want to talk about it” ever. Classy.
And to top off this amazing shit-flavored sundae, once you find out what Abe has done, YOU GIVE HIM TIME TO THINK ABOUT HIS ACTIONS??? Did you seriously not consider that he might try to kill you to shut you up??? He seems pretty sure of himself and completely justified in his actions, so why would a short conversation sway his way of thinking? And since you were announcing that you would turn him in if he didn’t himself, you are basically giving him the idea to kill you. You dumb broad, when you know someone who’s killed someone and wants to get away with it, DON’T LET HIM GET AWAY WITH IT!!! Turn his ass in and take comfort in the fact that you did the right thing. Jesus.
Stone’s character aside, this was a surprisingly enjoyable film with some incredibly dark humor handled really well. Phoenix gives a standard great performance, and oh man… I loved this movie. There’s honestly not much to say about it. Highly recommended.
My honest rating for IRRATIONAL MAN: 4/5