An Irrational Man written and directed by Woody Allen stars Joaquin Phoenix as Abe Lucas, a hard drinking, pot-bellied philosophy professor who arrives at a Rhode Island College in order to take up a teaching post.

When he arrives at the college his reputation as a womaniser proceeds him and two woman become infatuated with him. One is a mature teacher (Parker Posey) whilst the other, Jill (Emma Stone) is one of his students.

It's whilst sitting in a restaurant with Jill that Abe, who sees his life as being worthless, overhears a customer complaining about a judge that is about to give custody of her children over to her ex-husband. When the woman tells her friends that she wishes that the Judge would get cancer and die Abe comes up with a plan that he thinks will give his life meaning. The plan is simple, Abe will commit the perfect, motiveless murder and kill the judge for her.

An Irrational Man plays pretty much like a film in two halves. The first half is typically Woody Allen, in that it's full of witty dialogue and banter between the characters. The second half, and the more interesting half, sees Abe hatching his plan to commit murder. The murder plot does feel more like an Alfred Hitchcock film than Woody Allen film, Strangers on a Train being the one Hitchcock film that comes immediately to mind.

Phoenix and Stone are both terrific as Abe and Jill in a film that becomes more blackly amusing the longer the story goes on.


Irrational Man (12A)

1h 35m

Director: Woody Allen

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Jamie Blackley, Parker Posey, Joe Stapleton, Nancy Carroll

UK Release: Friday 11th September 2015