Irrational Man (2015) Director: Woody Allen (12)

Woody Allen is certainly prolific with his recent releases but unfortunately Irrational Man is not a classic. Like any Allen movie, it looks beautiful and we immediately want to visit the New England setting but the story is dull, confusing and we just don't buy - again - why a younger female character would fall for the unappealing male protagonist.
Joaquin Phoenix plays professor of philsophy Abe Lucas, who starts at the fictional college campus of Braylin amongst rumours of his sexual prowess and bizarre personality. For some reason, Parker Posey's married academic Professor Rita Richards immediately throws herself at him and student Jill (Emma Stone, a bright spark as always in any film) becomes enamoured with him despite his deeply unlikeable character.
Abe is going through an existential crisis but a moment of opportunity in a coffee shop presents him with a chance to find his purpose in life. It's a very odd premise in the film, but by the time this happens we're quite frankly beyond caring.
It's comforting and quite lovely to be swept along by an Allen film, and for that alone Irrational Man is watchable. There are moments of humour and Emma Stone holds everything up. It's just empty as hell, and there's nothing going on under its seemingly big brain - even in this academic setting.
2/5 awkward interactions