The ivy-clad halls of Newport, Rhode Island’s stoic Braylin College are about to get shaken up (or at least that’s what administrators think). Renowned philosophy professor Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix) has agreed to join the school’s faculty as a visiting instructor for the summer program. His arrival is heralded as a major coup for the university, given his pedigree as one of the field’s most insightful academics. But his standing precedes him in other ways, too; the handsome young scholar has earned quite a reputation as a ladies’ man.
Making up our minds about what we want from life can be tricky business. Sometimes we think we know what we want only to find out later that we’ve confused ourselves, often in ways that we have trouble sorting out. This is where the power of discernment can be a big help to us. It’s a tool that comes in handy for a long-suffering protagonist in the eccentric new comedy, “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).”
Life would be pretty tedious if everything could be explained in purely rational terms. As valuable as logic and the intellect are, they don’t take into account the mystery of magic and the intuition, elements that add spice and flavor to our lives and the realities we create for ourselves. And forgoing one of those components of existence at the expense of the other can be a painful experience, to be sure. Learning to strike a balance between the two is important to our well-being and happiness as a beleaguered protagonist discovers for himself in the latest offering from director Woody Allen, “Magic in the Moonlight.”