“The Best I Can Offer Is Distraction”: Woody Allen, ‘Magic in the Moonlight,’ and the Elephant in the Room



“Just want to remind you guys that we’re going to talk primarily — really, exclusively — about this film today, so please keep your questions centered on Magic in the Moonlight.” The moderator issued his edict early in the press conference, just after the introductions, and he restated it 12 minutes later, before turning the panel over to questions from the assembled press: “And again, just a reminder, please stick to focus on the film here today.” It was the closest anyone running Friday’s press event for Woody Allen’s new film came to acknowledging that there was something else we might want to ask about, and no one had to come out and say what it was. But the problem is, the only thing newsworthy about Magic in the Moonlight — an unexceptional, oddly slack late-period Allen picture — is that it’s his first release after decades-old allegations of…

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