written and directed by Woody Allen
A bumbling journalism student (Scarlett Johansson) is contacted by the ghost of a famous reporter (Ian McShane) with a scoop involving a handsome aristocrat (Hugh Jackman) who may be a serial killer. She then enlists the aid of a second-rate magician (Woody Allen, aka The Great Splendini!) and together they charm their way into the aristocrat’s life… until she finds herself falling in love with the target of her investigation. But what if he’s really the killer? And what if he finds out she’s not who she says she is? Yawn.
The jokes fall flat, the “mystery” is ludicrous, and the romance is nonexistent. It’s true Woody Allen makes several duds immediately after a good film: Scoop and the equally pedestrian Cassandra’s Dream (2007) followed the arguably high standard of Match Point (2005), a film I didn’t love but which at least is interesting and engaging. In any case, one thing does seem to remain consistent about Allen’s last two decades at the movies: He should retire from acting. The neurotic Jew schtick wore off a long time ago, and now his presence feels forced and exasperating. Scoop is neither funny nor fun. It’s just sad.
Carlos I. Cuevas