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Scoop


Definitely a lesser entry in the Woody Allen film legacy, 2006's SCOOP features Scarlett Johansson as a young American college student named Sondra, who wants to be a journalist, chasing some famous folks in London for a scoop.

While at a variety stage show, magician Sid Waterman (Woody Allen) places Sondra in a box to "scramble her molecules" and make her disappear. While she is in the box, the spirit of a recently deceased famous reporter Joe Strombel (Ian McShane) appears to her and gives her the scoop of her life.

He tells her that the suave aristocrat Peter Lyman (Hugh Jackman) is actually a serial killer called the Tarot Card Killer.

Sondra enlists Sidney to help her track down clues about Peter, which leads to them infiltrating the highest social circles of London as a father and daughter, with some pretty funny results.

Jackman is very good as the story's straight man. Woody delivers some killer one-liners, McShane has plenty of fun as the spirit, but Scarlett seems hopelessly miscast.

She never manages to get a solid grip on delivering Allen's quick, sharply witty lines and seems to stumble and rush through much of the dialogue.

There's fun to be had and Allen certainly delivers a high ratio of winning barbs and comebacks including: "I was born into the Hebrew persuasion, but when I got older I converted to narcissism" and "I was in the lounge, I heard you drowning, I finished my tea and scones and came immediately!"

SCOOP never overcomes the miscasting of Johannson and coasts its way to a pleasant but middling C.

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