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You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger [Blu-ray]

3.6 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Two couples discover the grass may not always be greener on the other side in Woody Allen’s breezy comedy on wry, You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger. Hoping to relive the pleasures of youth, Alfie Shepridge (Anthony Hopkins) dumps his wife of 40 years (Gemma Jones) and pursues a young call girl (Lucy Punch). So when daughter Sally (Naomi Watts) develops a crush on her boss (Antonio Banderas) and husband Roy (Josh Brolin) becomes obsessed with the beauty (Freida Pinto) who lives across the way, the entire clan’s fantasies take on reality as their passions not only drive them out of their marriages, but out of their minds as well.

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts, Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Freida Pinto
  • Directors: Woody Allen
  • Writers: Woody Allen, Letty Aronson
  • Producers: Jack Rollins, Stephen Tenenbaum, Jaume Roures
  • Format: Blu-ray, AC-3, Dolby, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
  • DVD Release Date: February 15, 2011
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003UESJD8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,072 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This is like a Zen version of an Eric Rohmer film. After seeing YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER, it's obvious why Woody Allen is much more highly regarded--and respected-in France than the U.S. The French appreciate films about relationships--especially Rohmer's films about relationships, such as MY NIGHT AT MAUD'S, CLAIRE'S KNEE, SUMMER, PAULINE AT THE BEACH, BOYFRIENDS AND GIRLFRIENDS, AN AUTUMN TALE, etc. Like Woody's recent films--especially MATCH POINT and VICKY CHRISTINA BARCELONA--YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER follows in the same footsteps. The common denominator amongst those films is FATE or PREDESTINATION. Woody seems to be saying that no matter what we do, things will work out in their own way. He is getting much more Zen-like in his golden years. Although YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER wasn't as funny like MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY, ANNIE HALL or PLAY IT AGAIN SAM nor was it as deep like CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS, HANNAH AND HER SISTERS, or MANHATTAN--it is still a worthwhile film to see. Especially for Woody Allen fans. And the French.
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An odd film for Allen, neither an overt comedy or one of his dark serious films (e.g. `Crimes and Misdemeanors'). This is a `light' drama, something he hasn't done much. While not Allen's best work, I felt far more warmly towards it than most of the press, especially on 2nd viewing. Some of the criticisms are valid; the voice over narration is out of tone with the piece and at times tells us too literally what we already know. Yet, in the current American cinema, how many film-makers are getting to even and try and address the complex subtle questions of grown-up relationships, aging and the fear of death, and the lies we tell ourselves to get through it all? Or deal with the paradox that humans seem to need something to believe in, and yet that same belief can also lead us astray? Or give great older actors like Anthony Hopkins and Gemma Jones really meaty roles? As long as Allen keeps asking questions, he'll remain a voice worth listening to.
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I found some of the comments that "Tall Dark Stranger" was about 'absolutely nothing' ironic, because the voiceover at the beginning of the film, quoting "Macbeth," informs viewers exactly of what they are going to see: a story "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing!"

As usual, Allen has assembled an outstanding cast, including Gemma Jones, Naomi Watts, Anthony Hopkins, and Antonio Banderas. Jones is especially endearing as Hopkins' neurotic ex-wife and the mother of the equally neurotic Watts. Josh Brolin plays Watts's rather obnoxious husband, who is attracted to Freida Pinto, charming as the lady in red, who inhabits the window of his dreams in the flat across the courtyard. Lucy Punch is convincingly downmarket as Hopkins' enticing squeeze, and Banderas plays Watts's plausible (if dodgy) boss with panache. Allen emphasises the hopes and aspirations of his characters effectively with his lush but intimate musical score, which includes pop, jazz, opera, chamber (Mozart) and classical guitar (Boccherini). The scrumptious London settings provide a perfect background for his characters, and make the film a very enjoyable place for the viewer to while away a couple of hours.

One of the things I love about Woody Allen's films is their unpredictability. Even though they hold recurrent themes, no two are exactly alike. They always contain surprises that delight, if one accepts them on their own terms. "Tall Dark Stranger" is a celebration of life in all its randomness and unpredictability. It is about the grass always seeming greener elsewhere; about possibility; about hope, that last spirit remaining in Pandora's box. In other words, it is about each one of us living our separate lives, which sometimes touch one another, and then, unexpectedly, move off in random directions.
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Format: DVD
The Wood Man's treatise on an old adage that goes like this: "The more b.s. you believe in, the better off you are."

As for the title, there are essentially two tall dark strangers flitting about in this film. One of them takes the form of the specter of death, the same specter whose people's fear of keeps them in a state of hysteria. Being in this state, of course, allows them to avoid focusing on the unknown (whatever is waiting for them after death), and drives them to desperation, where they commit all sorts of crazy acts (in this film: infidelities, excessive drinking, avoiding acting one's age, visiting psychics, stealing other people's intellectual property, and other types of avoidance behavior).

The other tall dark stranger takes the form of b.s. predictions of the future ("you will meet a tall dark stranger") fed to one of the lead characters by a well-paid phony psychic, predictions that the character swallows whole, phony predictions that nevertheless have an uplifting, empowering effect on the character. All of the main characters in this film are running from the specter of death in some way or another, but it's the character that visits with the psychic who is the only one with a life line of sorts. The psychic predictions that the character wholeheartedly believes in delude her; but they keep her propped up, and in some small ways allow her to move forward. (To reiterate, the more b.s. you believe in, the better off you are.)

So, then, the tall dark stranger is both something that the characters run from (the specter of death) and, in the case of one of the characters, a diversion from the something that they run from (a phony psychic's predictions of the future).
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