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3.6 out of 5 stars
64
3.6 out of 5 stars
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger [DVD] [2010]
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 26 April 2012
This is, I think, the third of Woody Allen's films to be set in London, and like Match Point and Cassandra's Dream before it, continues to give a much gloomier reflection of life than his earlier work. It is nevertheless the funniest of the three by far, in fact I was quite surprised by how badly everything turns out given the humour of most of the scenes. It must be one of the widest-ranging films imaginable in the sense of having a very pessimistic vision, yet couching it in the most amusing terms. Some aspects of the plot are brought to a nightmarish conclusion, and no one seems to escape unscathed. The way this is done so systematically left me feeling slightly cheated, given that it is a comedy, and it could be seen as somewhat misanthropic. There's no obvious generosity towards the characters, who appear misguided and largely self-centred, so the tone seems even a little brittle in its willed breeziness. I prefer the full-on bleakness of Cassandra's Dream, which seems to have more soul. Nevertheless it is another piece of the puzzle that Allen's oeuvre can be seen as, with every film somehow staking out a new aspect of his vision. The mixture of elements here is unprecedented ... it also boasts superb performances all round. It would be a pity to single any of them out, although maybe Naomi Watts should be mentioned for breathing a warmer quality into the proceedings, even if her character also has her less dignified moments; her patience and grace - except under extreme fire - do make you feel that not all is lost, quite ...
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on 23 April 2017
another daft plot from Woody, centered around the lives of a collection of people -their hopes a and dreams. conniving and unfaithful and no-one gets what their after. true to life i suppose
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on 3 September 2017
Loved the characters in this comedy. Could cheerfully watch again! Well up to Woody Allen's standards.
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on 30 May 2017
all good with this item
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VINE VOICEon 1 December 2011
I found some comments that "Tall Dark Stranger" was about 'absolutely nothing' ironic, because the voiceover at the beginning of the film, quoting "Macbeth," informs viewers exactly of what they are going to see: a story "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing!"

As usual, Allen has assembled an outstanding cast, including Gemma Jones, Naomi Watts, Anthony Hopkins, and Antonio Banderas. Jones is especially endearing as Hopkins' neurotic ex-wife and the mother of the equally neurotic Watts. Josh Brolin plays Watts's rather obnoxious husband, who is attracted to Freida Pinto, charming as the lady in red, who inhabits the window of his dreams, in the flat across the courtyard. Lucy Punch is convincingly downmarket as Hopkins' enticing squeeze, and Banderas plays Watts's plausible (if dodgy) boss with panache. Allen emphasises the hopes and aspirations of his characters effectively with a lush yet intimate musical score, which includes a melange of pop, jazz, opera, chamber (Mozart) and classical guitar (Boccherini). The scrumptious London settings provide a perfect background for his characters, and make the film a very enjoyable place for viewers to while away a couple of hours.

One of the things I love about Woody Allen's films is their unpredictability. Even though they hold recurrent themes, no two are exactly alike. They always contain surprises that delight, if one accepts them on their own terms. "Tall Dark Stranger" is a celebration of life in all its randomness and unpredictability. It is about the grass always seeming greener elsewhere; about possibility; about hope, that last spirit remaining in Pandora's box. In other words, it is about each one of us living our separate lives, which sometimes touch one another, and then, unexpectedly, move off in random directions.
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on 6 November 2015
There are two distinct things in this world, one is a Woody Allen film and the other is the voice of Leon Redbone. And I do like them both. This appears to be an Allen "trunk film." It contains multiple themes and characters that have appeared in other Allen films and a few characters he may have discarded. This Allen film doesn't contain the usual protagonist who brings everything into perspective. We are on our own to figure out the various themes.

The movie open with Helena (Gemma Jones) who goes to see a seer and launches a thousand lives. Her name asks the question, "What would Paris have done with Helena once she was old?" Helena is in crisis mode. Her seer Cristol (Pauline Collins) has the ability to read people and give good advice. She uses the cards and astrology to advise her clients, and she might be a deeper character than we get to know. Helena comes closest to the Allen protagonist.

Helena's husband Alfie (Anthony Hopkins) has left her and has hooked up with with an escort (Lucy Punch) who only wants Alfie's money something that is apparent to everyone but Alfie. Alfie wants a son to replace his deceased son.

Alfie and Helena have a daughter Sally (Naomi Watts) who is married to Roy (Josh Brolin). Roy graduated from medical school, but would rather be a writer. He has written one successful novel...and that appears to be it. He mostly stares out the window at Dia (Freida Pinto) a woman who is engaged. Sally meanwhile works for the charming Greg (Antonio Banderas) who is not getting along with his wife.

The "grass is greener" theme combines with the "be careful what you wish for" theme to give us an interesting film. As the audience you want to know who is going to be happy and who's relationships don't work out. The humor in this film is light with the irony being subtle. It is a smart film that is more akin to an indie than an Allen classic.

Parental Guide: 1 F-bomb, one quick sex scene, no nudity.
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on 13 July 2013
There are two distinct things in this world, one is a Woody Allen film and the other is the voice of Leon Redbone. And I do like them both. This appears to be an Allen "trunk film." It contains multiple themes and characters that have appeared in other Allen films and a few characters he may have discarded. This Allen film doesn't contain the usual protagonist who brings everything into perspective. We are on our own to figure out the various themes.

The movie open with Helena (Gemma Jones) who goes to see a seer and launches a thousand lives. Her name asks the question, "What would Paris have done with Helena once she was old?" Helena is in crisis mode. Her seer Cristol (Pauline Collins) has the ability to read people and give good advice. She uses the cards and astrology to advise her clients, and she might be a deeper character than we get to know. Helena comes closest to the Allen protagonist.

Helena's husband Alfie (Anthony Hopkins) has left her and has hooked up with with an escort (Lucy Punch) who only wants Alfie's money something that is apparent to everyone but Alfie. Alfie wants a son to replace his deceased son.

Alfie and Helena have a daughter Sally (Naomi Watts) who is married to Roy (Josh Brolin). Roy graduated from medical school, but would rather be a writer. He has written one successful novel...and that appears to be it. He mostly stares out the window at Dia (Freida Pinto) a woman who is engaged. Sally meanwhile works for the charming Greg (Antonio Banderas) who is not getting along with his wife.

The "grass is greener" theme combines with the "be careful what you wish for" theme to give us an interesting film. As the audience you want to know who is going to be happy and who's relationships don't work out. The humor in this film is light with the irony being subtle. It is a smart film that is more akin to an indie than an Allen classic.

Parental Guide: 1 F-bomb, one quick sex scene, no nudity.
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on 27 September 2014
Beautifully cast, well written, & elegantly filmed..

The characters, ebbing out of one family in the main, are so well cast they are riveting to watch, anxieties are heightened in the ebb and flow of life, where personal life dreams & wants come to the fore...inevitably leading to major life changes, yet so subtle & carried out with ease, none is treated as dramatic as it may have been, they are shown with a smattering of grace and comedic value.

Anthony Hopkins plays an elderly 'gent', desiring youth & longevity, not wanting to give in to aging, heads off for independent living, until he meets with a young lady... ..he seems oblivious to the fact he is running from his wife, only to return when his youthful new wife is caught cheating &he comes to face the reality that his 'dream' is no longer trustworthy and safe.. and the very thing he had wanted; is shallow.....This is but one of the relationships which are focused upon. All of them are a delightful gift waiting to be explored.. and this mixes and drifts in and out with the other relationships within the family and the other characters they meet as they are all connected, running through & joining the well constructed and worded script....

This film showcases a mix of a few whose lives are intertwined, and covers the relationships within what might have been a normal socially acceptable family, yet here they are, merging with the occult, ending marriages to run away with younger woman, and trying to 'be' more interesting people than they were originally - wanting happiness .. wanting to 'live', wanting 'more', wanting 'something'... , changing who they are, and their behaviour.. all are in 'need'.. as they cope with the longer term disappointments of their lives and seeking change, searching for that 'happiness'.. & it all appears to be thoroughly acceptable..

Bravo.. to a film well constructed, and filmed..

Classically entertaining, excellent acting, and casting, and a wonderful peak at a cascade of hope and dreams, and settling...

The scene setting is good, and the scenes quite beautifully timed, and so well acted that you want them to last forever... all the relationships are highly believable, the comedy tone cla
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 31 October 2011
I'm a big fan of Woody Allen's and I have enjoyed most of his movies. There have been a handful which I didn't take to, but this one is definitely in the enjoyable group for me. Quite a lot of chuckle moments and some genuine heartfelt as well as the cutting irony ever present in Allen's story telling.

I also felt that compared to his other London films, it has a better script and quite a lot of natural charm and wit from the superior cast. Hard to pick favourites but most notable for me were Naomi Watts, Lucy Punch, Anthony Hopkins and Gemma Jones.

The London setting is quite low key, so I didn't find I got distracted by familiarity, and the only gripe I have is that the main music was a little random in terms of fit, the jazz clarinet which I love) didn't quite fit with the capital (more suited to his American settings) and the Mozart serenade clips, though gorgeous & substantially bright, were at the other extreme and again not quite fitting the mood nor story.

Overall, a delightful film, not quite a classic but enough memorable moments and for me one of my DVDs that I will go back to and watch again.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 October 2010
An odd film for Allen, neither an overt comedy or one of his dark serious films (e.g. `Crimes and Misdemeanors'). This is a `light' drama, something he hasn't done much. While not Allen's best work, I felt more far warmly towards it than most of the press, especially after a second viewing. Some of the criticisms are valid; the voice over narration feels out of tone with the piece, and at times tells us too literally what we already know. Yet, in the current U.S. cinema, how many film-makers are getting to even and try and address the complex subtle questions of grown-up relationships, aging and the fear of death, and the lies we tell ourselves to get through it all? Or deal with the paradox that humans need something to believe in, and yet that same belief can also lead us astray? Or give great older actors like Anthony Hopkins and Gemma Jones really meaty roles? As long as Allen keeps asking questions, he'll remain a voice worth listening to.
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