Catch Woody's latest stony-faced slice of wish fulfillment at Royston's Picture Palace

PUBLISHED: 21:19 03 November 2015

Unlikely pairing: Emma Stone plays student Jill, who turns her attention to intense professor Abe (Joaquin Phoenix)

Unlikely pairing: Emma Stone plays student Jill, who turns her attention to intense professor Abe (Joaquin Phoenix)

Archant

Woody Allen turns 80 next month but he shows no signs of slowing down.

His movies are never high energy, but they come off the production line with what could be termed monotonous regularity – certainly as far as some of his less successful efforts are concerned.

As a director he now claims more than 50 credits, and the sweet little deal that he has with the people who bankroll his productions is famously indulgent – as long as he keeps to a budget that’s peanuts in comparison to most mainstream productions and collars a few big names to feature in the cast to give it a bit of box office gloss, he can make what he likes.

What he likes, sadly, tends to be pretty glum dramas rather than the clever comedies with which he made his name.

Some sink without trace, some – like 2013’s Blue Jasmine – attract critical acclaim and Oscar attention, but one thing’s for sure – there will be another one along in a minute.

One film a year is pretty much the Allen output, and the 2015 offering – showing at Royston’s Picture Palace on Saturday – is Irrational Man.

The A-listers adding a Woody Allen to their portfolio this time round include Joaquin Phoenix as a miserable professor with all sorts of personal problems who still manages to start a relationship with Emma Stone’s sensitive student.

He’s also enjoying close companionship with a hottie nearer his own age (Parker Posey) and patting himself on the back after apparently getting away with the random murder of a corrupt judge.

Anyone who knows anything about Allen’s complicated personal life will be reading all sorts of things into this stony-faced script, and the film was greeted by a shrug and a thumbs down by most observers. If you think Woody is a wonder Saturday night’s showing begins at 7.30pm.

On a cheerier note, Saturday afternoon is set aside for a Frozen singalong session and young fans of the Disney smash who are word perfect on all the songs will doubtless be beating a path to Royston Town Hall to join the chorus, accompanied by parents who haven’t yet been driven to distraction by umpteen replays of the sugary story. Visit www.roystonpicturepalace.org.uk for booking details for both shows.

Next week’s programme features two performances of Everest, so remember to wrap up warm if you are intending to take a seat for this uncompromising true life disaster movie set on the world’s tallest mountain.

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