|Joaquin Phoenix stars in Irrational Man|
Sometimes Woody Allen makes a great film as in “Blue Jasmine,” and sometimes not. “Irrational Man” falls in the “not” category. The plot reminds me of the older Hitchcock thriller “Shadow of a Doubt,” mixed with a little “Strangers on a Train.” Joaquin Phoenix plays a bored philosophy professor, whose arrival stirs up a sleepy New England college campus. The students bestow “star” status on the professor. Emma Stone finds herself sexually attracted to Phoenix, and ultimately they begin an affair to the consternation of the older, married professor played by Parker Posey. I’ve always liked Posey and frankly, I was disappointed to see her as a desperate, unattractive character. Phoenix gets his mojo back after committing a murder, which sets the Hitchcock twists into motion. “Irrational Man” struck me as flat. Joaquin Phoenix remains one of the most interesting actors working today: I’ll never forget him in “The Master,” but I won’t remember him for “Irrational Man.” Does it deliver what it promises? Not Woody Allen's best. Is it entertaining? Slow and sleepy. Is it worth the price of admission? Skip it.