The most honest conversations at a movie premiere often happen in the bathroom, which was the case for Woody Allen’s “Magic in the Moonlight.” At the after-party on the Upper East Side on Thursday night, two industry types started to gab at the urinals. The first man asked the second man what he thought. “It was, uh, interesting,” the second man said. The first man liked the music. The second man complimented the cinematography. Then both men started to pick apart the story about a 1920s magician (Colin Firth) who tries to expose a clairvoyant (Emma Stone) as a fraud. “It was slow,” the second man said.
There were other pacing problems at the premiere of the Sony Pictures Classics release. The movie started a half-hour late, and print journalists were crammed into the narrow lobby of the Paris Theatre. Before the talent arrived, Yahoo anchor Katie Couric, who isn’t in the film, wandered by the press clump in the wrong direction. Was she there to answer questions? No. “Excuse me,” she asked the journalists. “Do you know where the bathroom is?” We told her it was downstairs.
Woody Allen, dressed in a sports coat, briefly stopped for a few quotes, with his back turned to the press line. Colin Firth zipped through the lobby –he was seated next to Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who introduced him to her son. Emma Stone offered a few press-conference-style remarks.
What was it like to work with Woody Allen?
I didn’t know what to expect. Then I figured out what to expect.
Did he approach you for the role?
Had he seen your movies?
I have no idea.
One of the highlights of the evening was her owl-themed dress.
Jacki Weaver, who plays an American in the South of France, talked about Allen’s unconventional casting. “My agent and my manager got a phone call saying Woody wanted to see me,” Weaver said. “He said, ‘How do you do? I want you in my next film.’”
Sony Pictures Classics co-president Tom Bernard said that this was the eighth film that he’s made with Allen. “The movies get better and the budgets get lower,” Bernard said, adding that “Magic in the Moonlight” cost less than $20 million.
The after-party, hosted by Dolce & Gabbana at Harlow, was decorated with fresh flowers to look like France in the summer. There was a mini-“Amazing Spider-Man” reunion with Andrew Garfield (Stone’s longtime boyfriend) and Dane DeHaan milling about. Couric sat in a booth with Regis Philbin and his wife Joy. But Woody never made it inside. He stopped at the door, took a weary glance at the line and disappeared into the night.