Set in the 1920s on the opulent Riviera in the south of France, Woody Allen's MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT is a romantic comedy about a master magician (Colin Firth) trying to expose a psychic medium (Emma Stone) as a fake.
Set in the 1920s on the opulent Riviera in the south of France, Woody Allen’s MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT is a romantic comedy about a master magician (Colin Firth) trying to expose a psychic medium (Emma Stone) as a fake.
Chinese conjuror Wei Ling Soo is the most celebrated magician of his age, but few know that he is the stage persona of Stanley Crawford (Firth), a grouchy and arrogant Englishman with a sky-high opinion of himself and an aversion to phony spiritualists’ claims that they can perform real magic. Persuaded by his life-long friend, Howard Burkan (Simon McBurney), Stanley goes on a mission to the Côte d’Azur mansion of the Catledge family: mother Grace (Jacki Weaver), son Brice (Hamish Linklater), and daughter Caroline (Erica Leerhsen). He presents himself as a businessman named Stanley Taplinger in order to debunk the alluring young clairvoyant Sophie Baker (Stone) who is staying there with her mother (Marcia Gay Harden). Sophie arrived at the Catledge villa at the invitation of Grace, who is convinced that Sophie can help her contact her late husband, and once there, attracted the attention of Brice, who has fallen for her head over heels.
From his very first meeting with Sophie, Stanley dismisses her as an insignificant pip-squeak who he can unmask in no time, scoffing at the family’s gullibility. To his great surprise and discomfort, however, Sophie accomplishes numerous feats of mind-reading and other supernatural deeds that defy all rational explanation, leaving him dumbfounded. Before long, Stanley confesses to his beloved Aunt Vanessa (Eileen Atkins) that he has begun to wonder whether Sophie’s powers could actually be real. If they were to be true, Stanley realizes that anything might be possible, even good, and his entire belief system would come crashing down.
What follows is a series of events that are magical in every sense of the word and send the characters reeling. In the end, the biggest trick MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT plays is the one that fools us all.
Woody Allen has been fascinated with magic since he started performing tricks as a teenager, and since then magic and magicians have often made appearances in his work: in his famous standup routine “The Great Renaldo”; in his O. Henry Prize-winning short story “The Kugelmass Episode”; in his play “The Floating Lightbulb” (where a main character is a young magician); in the “Oedipus Wrecks” segment of NEW YORK STORIES; and in SCOOP, where he memorably played the magician, The Great Splendini, himself. His films have also included hypnotists (BROADWAY DANNY ROSE, THE CURSE OF THE JADE SCORPION), a healer (ALICE), and a fortune teller (YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER). Many of his other films, most notably ZELIG, THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, have whimsical fantasy woven into their stories and themes, as does Allen’s new romantic comedy, MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT.
Spiritual mediums were all the rage during the 1920’s, when MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT is set. “At the time much was made of it,” says Allen. “Very renowned people like Arthur Conan Doyle [creator of Sherlock Holmes] took it very seriously. There were all kinds of incidents like spirit photographs that people were wondering about. Séances were very common.” The greatest magician of that era, Harry Houdini, attended many séances, debunking every clairvoyant he encountered. Interestingly, Houdini wasn’t motivated by a desire to expose con artists, but by his sincere longing to discover that communicating with the dead was possible. Finding so much fraud was a disappointment to him, but at the time of his death, he still held out hope for an afterlife.
On the surface, Stanley Crawford (Colin Firth) is the opposite of Houdini. A world-famous magician who performs in disguise as the Chinese conjurer Wei Ling Soo, Stanley rejects outright the possibility of any afterlife. “He is an intelligent, scientific-minded, rational person, so what he sees as the stupidity of the gullible public and the fraudulently exploited grates on him,” says Allen. Says Colin Firth, who plays Stanley: “He is supercilious, judgmental, cynical and arrogant, and has a very high opinion of his superior intellect. As a specialist in the art of illusion, he is a skeptic when it comes to anything that is spiritual, mystical, or occult. He prides himself on exposing the people who claim that there is actually something genuinely magical going on at things like séances.” Firth continues: “I don’t think I have ever played a protagonist in a film who gets so close to being completely unsympathetic. I’m sure the audience is rooting for him to get a pie in the face. The degree to which he is so completely dismissive of everybody else makes you long for him to be taken down a peg or two.”
Stanley is intrigued when his childhood friend and fellow magician, Howard Burkan (Simon McBurney), tells him about a young psychic, Sophie Baker (Emma Stone), who is living with a wealthy American family, the Catledges, residing in the south of France. Howard has tried everything he can think of to expose any trickery on her behalf, but is completely baffled by her apparent powers. Howard proposes that Stanley postpone his planned trip with his fiancée Olivia (Catherine McCormack), to come to the south of France and expose Sophie as a fraud.
“I think the reason Stanley enjoys Howard’s company is because he makes him feel good about himself,” says McBurney. “Howard openly acknowledges him as the more accomplished performer, and this confirms Stanley’s place in the pantheon of great magicians.” Making his appeal to Stanley as “the greatest debunker in the world,” Howard persuades Stanley to take on the challenge.
As Stanley is both world-famous and anonymous – nobody knows the true identity of the great Wei Ling Soo – he presents himself in the Catledge home as a businessman named Stanley Taplinger. As an elite and cultivated British man, Stanley is not impressed by Sophie Baker (Emma Stone) and her mother (Marcia Gay Harden), Americans that come from a very poor background. Says Firth: “He considers her to be an inconsequential street urchin and he thinks it will be absolutely no problem to unmask her as a fake.”
Much to his surprise, Stanley discovers that Sophie is able to get mental pictures and impressions about people, their pasts, and their departed loved ones, that he finds impossible to explain. Despite how closely Stanley scrutinizes her every move, Sophie continues to surprise and bewilder him. She tells him about events in his life she couldn’t possibly know about. Instead of him discrediting her, it is Sophie who unmasks him as Wei Ling Soo. Undeterred by apparent proof to the contrary, Stanley remains convinced that she is unconditionally a fraud and that he will soon find her out. “Stanley challenges her a lot but Sophie knows she can consistently shock him.” says Stone. “That gives her power. I also think she finds him really charming so she turns on a kind of schoolyard teasing with him.”
Sophie and Mrs. Baker have been able to take residence in the Catledge chateau because the mother, Grace (Jacki Weaver), is desperate to make contact with her departed husband. “Grace is naïve and very sweet-natured,” says Weaver. “She says, ‘There’s got to be something more than what we can actually see,’ and she really believes that. I think a lot of people think like that.” Grace’s desperation and eagerness makes her an easy target for Mrs. Baker, who is able to squeeze money out from her for a “foundation” she and Sophie want to start. Says Harden: “Sophie has the ability to charm the pants off people, but her mother isn’t as charming, she’s more shrewd. Because Sophie is such a gifted medium, that combination has taken them a long way.” Says Allen: “Mrs. Baker is a hustling stage mother. She’s got a meal ticket with the kid, pushes it, and together they manage to eke out a living. When she sees an opportunity to make some substantial money – she grabs it.”
In addition to her gifts as a medium, Sophie is also a dazzler with a magnetic personality, so it’s not surprising that Brice Catledge (Hamish Linklater), the amiable scion of the family, falls head over heels for her. “He’s willing to give her the world if she’ll take it,” says Linklater. “He’s not interested in her because she’s a psychic—although it is very nice in terms of how she makes his mother feel – he just loves her and wants to be with her.” Says Allen: “Brice isn’t a bad guy, he’s just not a very substantial person. But what he is offering her is a very tempting proposition, particularly back in the 20s, because it would make her and her mother wealthy for life.”
Also in the house are Brice’s sister, Caroline Catledge (Erica Leerhsen), and her psychiatrist husband, George (Jeremy Shamos). Suspicious about Sophie, they were the ones who initially summoned Howard to check her out. Says Allen: “I wanted to have someone there from the sciences because the scientific community is always befuddled by these kinds of people. You would think that they wouldn’t be, but in real life it’s quite the opposite. George has gone to medical school and studied psychiatry and doesn’t buy into it at first – but Sophie is so convincing that even he starts to believe.”
Living near the Catledge estate is Stanley’s beloved Aunt Vanessa (Eileen Atkins), who provided a lot of his upbringing when he was a child and to whom he is closer than his own parents. Vanessa understands Stanley so well that she is the only one capable of guiding him, a difficult task with someone who thinks he knows everything. “Vanessa plays a very cool hand with him,” says Atkins. “She sees him as a little boy in the same way most parents go on seeing their children as children. So when she sees that things are going wrong with Stanley, she doesn’t overreact. She wins by saying the reverse thing because she knows that is how to get Stanley to do what she thinks is the right thing.” Says Firth: “Very tolerantly, very indulgently, Vanessa coaxes his true feelings out of him. She is not explicit about it, she just patiently allows him to go through his own thought process at his own pace and learn his own lessons.”
As Stanley becomes increasingly mystified by Sophie, he takes her to see Vanessa, who he knows has a keen eye for sizing people up. And it is in Vanessa’s home that Sophie performs what may be her most spectacularly unexplainable act of mind-reading. “I don’t think Vanessa is too bothered by how Sophie did it,” says Atkins. “She doesn’t think, ‘this girl has amazing abilities’ – she thinks ‘this girl has got to the heart of me very quickly,’ and right away, Vanessa is quite pleased to have that connection. And she thinks, there is a ‘maybe’ about everything; maybe the girl does have the power to see things. Vanessa is never going to say there absolutely are no miracles because there might be miracles.” Says Firth: “Vanessa is the wisest character in the story. She knows that real foolishness comes from being too certain of everything. Really wise people understand there is a lot we don’t know and that certainty is not equivalent to wisdom.”
Stanley, on the other hand, responds to Sophie’s feat at Vanessa’s by making a leap from utter skepticism into outright faith. “He doesn’t just fall into thinking that Sophie might be real,” says Firth. “Something that has been buried inside him for a long time suddenly explodes into a kind of childlike joy. ‘If she is real then I’ve been wrong about everything. And if I’ve been wrong about everything then it isn’t just the seeing world which exists and everything is possible. Maybe there is an afterlife and if there is an afterlife then maybe there is a God.’ Stanley has spent his life trying to approximate magic because he yearns for it. And I think because he has been disappointed by the lack of real magic in his life he has a hostility towards anybody who makes any claims for it.” Says Stone: “I love the way that Stanley, a man who is so successful at creating illusions for large groups of people to see, is transformed by Sophie, who makes him believe in a world that he can’t see.”
While Sophie rejuvenates Stanley emotionally, she is elevated intellectually by him. Says Allen: “Because he is well-read and demanding, Stanley exposes Sophie to things she might not otherwise have come in contact with. He opens those doors and awakens interests in her to pursue some of these things.” Says Stone: “Her tastes and her understanding of the world expands because she grew up in a very different world than the one Stanley comes from. She learns from him and that is very exciting for her.” Says Allen: “Sophie has the potential to be more cultivated than her circumstances have previously allowed her to be.”
The romanticism of the setting in the deco twenties and the resplendent look of the locations in the south of France lent the film a natural enchantment. Director of Photography Darius Khondji, best known for his noirish work in films like David Fincher’s SE7EN, has done more cheery and sunlit films with Allen, including MIDNIGHT IN PARIS and TO ROME WITH LOVE. “We wanted to make a light and happy picture,” says Khondji, “but with a strong color palette to structure the film visually. My principal inspiration was the French photographer Jaques Henri Lartigue. We used old Cinemascope lenses from the seventies and photographed it on film, using a special process to lower the contrast and soften the images naturally. We then worked with color supervisor Pascal Dangin, who helped us render the images with a touch of the “autochrome” look of the early color from the beginning of the 20th century.”
Khondji shone an especially radiant light on Emma Stone. “Woody asked me to convey her beauty on film and I hope I did,” says Khondji. “I felt she had a natural glow, this combination of the color of her skin, hair and eyes, but it was mainly the way she played the character that inspired me to photograph her this way.” Says Linklater. “She is a gorgeous girl but with that lighting she looked like she walked out of a fresco every single day.” Says Stone: “He basically put me in a white box of light. He took a long time to light me and I’m very grateful.”
The interiors and exteriors of the Catledge home were a blend of two locations: Villa Eilenroc in Cap d’Antibes and Villa la Renardière in Mouans-Sartoux. Other locations included: the bar and restaurant at the Hotel Belle Rives in Juan-les-Pins: Chateau du Rouet in Le Muy, a vineyard used as Aunt Vanessa’s house; Hotel Negresco in Nice (used as the Berlin Cabaret); and Opéra de Nice (the exterior of the Berlin theatre). The observatory that Stanley and Sophie take refuge in during the thunderstorm is the Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur (Nice Observatory) on the summit of Mont Gros. Built in 1887, with a dome designed by Gustave Eiffel (designer of the legendary tower), the observatory is still functioning. Even if the architecture matched the period, all the sets had to be extensively redressed with period furnishings by production designer Anne Seibel. The ball scene was a set completely created by Seibel in the “backyard” of one of the Catledge home locations, Villa Eilenroc.
Most of the costumes seen in the movie are originals from the period, found through a world-wide search spanning Paris, London, Madrid, Rome, Toronto, and Los Angeles by costume designer Sonia Grande and her team. “We always tried to use originals,” says Grande. “But when we couldn't find the elements that the different outfits and characters required, we built them from original fabrics and pieces that we restored and recycled.” A color scheme emerged organically, with the “believers” in the story generally clothed in whites and pastels and the “skeptics” in dark colors. “The first thing we were obedient to was the logic of the moment,” says Allen. “It was logical that Stanley, Howard and George would be wearing suits, as that was what they wore when we researched it. But that did play into the sense we had of trying to make the other people lighter, more open to the imaginative, magical side of life.”
As in all his films, in MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT, Allen employs very long takes with a lot of dialogue, blocking and camera moves. Says Firth: “On the face of it, it seems very simple but it does mean that everything has to be right. Sometimes you do seven or eight takes and he’d be delighted but you dropped your hat and you are going to have to do the whole thing again. He doesn’t rehearse so the first take is a kind of rehearsal and you have to repeat it until all the creases have been ironed out and everybody is up and running.” Says Stone: “Working with Woody was a dream come true for me. I had heard he was quiet and very serious and kept his distance, but my experience was just the opposite. He was incredibly friendly and funny and told me many stories.” Says Firth: “He was very engaged as a director, very detailed. He would come in and give you extremely precise, thorough and detailed notes on what he wanted to see unless he liked it and if he did he’d just move on. Says Atkins: “When we did one scene and we knew we were very bad and it finished and he just said “Well that wasn’t very good was it?” And I laughed and said to him, ‘It was terrible. What are we going to do?’ and he just laughed back and said ‘be better next time.’ And really that is all you need to say most of the time. He would give you something if you asked for it, but he really knows how actors work because he is an actor himself. He knows that if he casts them correctly and he pleases them correctly, then you just have to let them do it.”
Working in an isolated location, the cast bonded and often had dinners together, something that is rare on movie sets. Says Stone: “Colin says making movies is an alchemical process because you need to believe that you are these people and that this is your real world while you are making the movie as actors professionally. Making the film is a little time capsule in my mind I wish I could go back to. It was one of my favorite working experiences of all time.” Says Firth: “Emma is sort of the person who energizes a film set. She was incredibly popular and got to know everybody. She has an upbeat funny nature which I felt invigorated people. She became a great friend.”
“We were in the south of France and the theme was magic and it was the 20s,” says Stone. “I think everyone was kind of swept up in a happy-go-lucky ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ sort of feeling, For me, the experience and the story itself had the same kind of feeling you get when you go to a magic show. Every time I’ve seen a close-up magician I think it must be real even though there is no way it is real. I think there is something to how much we want to suspend our disbelief and be truly amazed by someone. We want stories, we want fairy tales, we want myths.” Says Firth: “I think it is about how you feel about mystery. It is how you feel about things that you can’t categorize, that you can’t solve scientifically or logically. And I think people have wildly diverging attitudes and relationships to those things. Some people chase the mystery and want to solve it scientifically and other people are just blindly hostile to anything that can’t be solved or can’t be understood. And there are some people who are happy to let mystery be a mystery.” Says McBurney: “When you see something and you don’t know how it happened, in that moment you catch the same sensation you had when you were five years old and you saw flowers coming out in the spring or you saw your favorite uncle making a coin appear from behind your ear. It appeals to the part of us that wants to see the world anew. We can become children again in the face of extraordinary musicianship, a great performance in the theatre, in the art gallery, or the wonders of nature. Those things can give us a sense of timeless wonder that is truly magical.”
The biggest mystery of all is falling in love, something that is as real as it is impossible to fully explain. “It’s a natural human condition to want things to be a little more magical,” says Stone. “And the magic in the movie is love. And love just happens. It might not make sense logically but that’s what’s so beautiful about it and that’s what’s so magical about it.” Says Allen: “Seeing someone and being instantly attracted to them is an unexplainable thing. You can try to give reasons for it: I like the person’s style, I like their sense of humor, I like their ideas, I like the way they look – but in the end, you never really know what it is because someone with the same style and sense of humor or whatever, you are not attracted to. It is so complex because there is something intangible there. I’m sure a million years from now with computers they will be able to mathematically graph what is going on, but for now and for the foreseeable future there is no proof it will ever change. There is a certain magical excitement to meeting somebody and having positive romantic feelings for them.”
A classically trained British theater actor, Academy Award® winner COLIN FIRTH (Stanley) is a veteran of film, television and theater, with an impressive body of work spanning over three decades. He has appeared in three films that have won the Academy Award® for Best Picture: THE KING’S SPEECH, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE and THE ENGLISH PATIENT. Firth earned an Academy Award®, Golden Globe® Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, British Independent Film Award, Critics’ Choice Award and his second consecutive BAFTA Award in 2011 for his performance as King George VI in THE KING’S SPEECH. The film also won the Academy Award® for ‘Best Picture’ as well as the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Firth also won the BAFTA Award in 2010 and the Volpi Cup for ‘Best Actor’ at the 2009 Venice Film Festival for his performance in Tom Ford’s A SINGLE MAN.
Firth will next be seen in THE RAILWAY MAN, directed by Jonathan Teplitzky which also stars Nicole Kidman. The film is based on a true story of Eric Lomax, played by Firth, who sets out to find those responsible for his torture during his time as a prisoner in World War II. He has also completed THE SECRET SERVICE, directed by Matthew Vaughn, and co-starring Samuel L Jackson and Michael Caine, which will be released by Fox in May 2015.
In 2012, Firth was seen in Tomas Alfredson’s TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY opposite Gary Oldman and Tom Hardy. The thriller is based on John Le Carré’s Cold War spy novel and tells the tale of a spy-hunt within the highest echelons of the British Secret Intelligence Service. The film garnered three Academy Award® nominations including Best Adapted Screenplay, and won the 2012 BAFTA Film Award for Outstanding British Film and Best Adapted Screenplay. In 2008, Firth was also seen in Universal Pictures’ global smash hit MAMMA MIA!
In 2004, Firth starred in the hit film BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON, and in the Academy Award®-nominated film GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING opposite Scarlett Johansson. In 2003, Firth appeared in the hit romantic comedy LOVE ACTUALLY, written and directed by Richard Curtis.
Firth’s other film credits include: Helen Hunt’s THE DEVIL’S KNOT, BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP, ARTHUR NEWMAN, THEN SHE FOUND ME, WHEN DID YOU LAST SEE YOUR FATHER?, EASY VIRTUE, Michael Winterbottom’s GENOVA, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, Atom Egoyan’s “WHERE THE TRUTH LIES, Marc Evans’ thriller TRAUMA, NANNY McPHEE, WHAT A GIRL WANTS, A THOUSAND ACRES, APARTMENT ZERO, MY LIFE SO FAR, Nick Hornby’s FEVER PITCH, CIRCLE OF FRIENDS, PLAYMAKER, and the title role in Milos Forman’s VALMONT.
On the small screen, Firth is infamous for his breakout role in as “Mr. Darcy” in the BBC adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice,” for which he received a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor and the National Television Award for Most Popular Actor. Firth was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2001 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in the critically acclaimed HBO film “Conspiracy” and also received the Royal Television Society Best Actor Award and a BAFTA nomination for his performance in “Tumbledown.” His other television credits include the BBC television movies “Born Equal,” “Donovan Quick,” “The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd,” “Deep Blue Sea,” “Hostages,” and the mini-series “Nostromo.”
Firth made his London stage debut in the West End production of “Another Country” playing “Guy Bennett.” He was then chosen to play the character Judd in the 1984 film adaptation, opposite Rupert Everett. In March 2004, Firth hosted “Saturday Night Live.”
Firth is an active supporter of Oxfam International, an organization dedicated to fighting poverty and related injustice around the world. He was honored with the Humanitarian Award by BAFTA/LA at their 2009 Britannia Awards. In 2008, he was named Philanthropist of the Year by The Hollywood Reporter. In 2006, Firth was voted European Campaigner of the Year by the EU.
With her striking beauty and sincere talent, Golden Globe nominated actress, EMMA STONE (Sophie) has claimed her role as one of Hollywood’s most sought after actresses.
Stone is currently filming the UNTITLED CAMERON CROWE project for Columbia Pictures opposite Bradley Cooper and Alec Baldwin, which is slated for release in 2014.
Stone will soon be seen reprising her role as “Gwen Stacy” in the THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2, which is slated for release in the summer of 2014. She will also be seen in the dark comedy, BIRDMAN, starring opposite Zack Galifianakis, Michael Keaton and Edward Norton. The film tells the story of a washed up actor (Keaton), who once played an iconic superhero, and how he must overcome his ego and family trouble as he prepares to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim past glory. Stone plays Keaton’s daughter, who becomes his assistant after being released from rehab.
Stone recently lent her voice to the role of “Eep” in the hit animated film THE CROODS. Stone will soon reprise the role for the sequel which will hit theaters July 2019.
Stone’s other film credits include: the period drama GANGSTER SQUAD; EASY A, which earned her a Golden Globe® nomination and an MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance; the award-winning THE HELP; CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE; FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS; PAPERMAN; the animated comedy MARMADUKE; ZOMBIELAND; GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST; THE HOUSE BUNNY; THE ROCKER; and SUPERBAD.
Stone is an advocate for Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), a groundbreaking initiative created to accelerate innovative cancer research that will get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. Laura Ziskin, the late producer of THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN, started the organization and got Stone involved.
Stone is also an ambassador for Gilda’s Club New York City. Named for Gilda Radner, the late comedian and original cast member of SNL, Gilda’s Club offers a place where people dealing with cancer can join together to build social and emotional support. Stone is an active member of the Gilda’s Club community where she engages with their younger departments for children and teens.
A native of Arizona, Emma currently splits her time between New York and Los Angeles.
SIMON McBURNEY (Howard Burkan) is an English actor, director, and writer. Recognized as one of the most important theatrical creators working in Britain over the last decades, McBurney co-founded the Théâtre de Complicité (now called Complicite), which introduced a highly visual and physical element that has reinvigorated British theater.
McBurney attended Cambridge University to study English, although his main training was at the Footlights Theatre Club where his acting style at that time pegged him as a comic actor. He was invited to perform at the London Comedy Store and offered a slot on BBC Radio 4. Instead McBurney decided to leave England to study mime at the Jacques Lecoq mime school in 1981.
In 1983 he formed Complicite, where he has served as Artistic Director, actor and Dramaturg. Among the plays he has directed with Complicite are: “The Master and Margarita,” “All My Sons,” “Anything for a Quiet Life,” “Street of Crocodiles,” “Out of a House Walked a Man...,” “The Three Lives of Lucie Cabrol,” “The Caucasian Chalk Circle,” “To the Wedding,”
“The Chairs” (which received a Tony nomination for Best Director), “Mnemonic,” “The Noise of Time,” “Light,” “Genoa 01,” “The Elephant Vanishes,” “Measure for Measure,” “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui,” “A Disappearing Number,” and “Shun-kin.” For “A Disappearing Number,” McBurney received the Olivier, Evening Standard, and Critics Circle awards for Best Direction of a Play. As an actor, McBurney performed in Complicite productions of: “A Minute Too Late,” “Please, Please, Please,” “Burning Ambition,” “The Winter’s Tale,” among many others.
McBurney’s film credits include: TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY; HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1 & PART 2; JANE EYRE; BODY OF LIES; THE DUCHESS; THE GOLDEN COMPASS, THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND, FRIENDS WITH MONEY, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, THE RECKONING, and EISENSTEIN. He recently completed James Marsh’s THEORY OF EVERYTHING.
His TV credits include, the highly successful BBC series “Rev,” “The Borgias,” “Utopia,” and “The Vicar of Dibley.”
McBurney was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) “for services to drama” in the 2005 New Year Honours. He was also the recipient of the 2008 Berlin Academy or Arts Konrad Wolf Prize for outstanding multi-disciplinary arts, and in 2012 he was the first British Artiste Associé at Festival D’Avignon.
Dame EILEEN ATKINS (Aunt Vanessa) is an actress and writer who has worked in theatre, film and television since 1953. She has won several major acting awards, including a BAFTA, an Emmy and three Olivier Awards. Also a writer, Atkins won the Evening Standard Award for Best Screenplay for her adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s MRS. DALLOWAY (1997), which starred Vanessa Redgrave. She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1990 and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2001.
Atkins was born in London and attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Her initial London stage appearance was in Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” followed by two years with the Royal Shakespeare Company. She won the 1965 Evening Standard Award for Best Actress for her performance in “The Killing of Sister George,” and then made her New York stage debut in the play. Her wealth of U.K. stage credits also includes: “Saint Joan,” “Medea,” “Vivat! Vivat! Regina” (Variety Club Award); “The Night of the Iguana” (London Critics Circle Award, and Olivier Award nomination),” and “A Winter’s Tale” (Olivier Award).
In 1989 she garnered unanimous acclaim for her one-woman show, “A Room of One’s Own,” in which she portrayed Virginia Woolf. The off-Broadway production brought her a Drama Desk Award for Best Solo Performance and a Special Citation from the New York Drama Critics Circle. She toured the U.S. in the show and later taped it for U.K. television. She returned to the role of Virginia Woolf in 1992 with “Vita and Virginia, which she wrote and starred for the U.K. stage as well as in the U.S. The latter production earned Dame Eileen a second Special Citation from the New York Drama Critics Circle, for both her playwriting and her performance.
Her other stage credits include Edward Albee’s “A Delicate Balance” in the U.K. (London Evening Standard Award) and New York; Yasmina Reza’s “The Unexpected Man” (Olivier Award); and on Broadway, “The Retreat from Moscow” (for which she was nominated for a Tony Award and won an Outer Critics Circle Award), “The Birthday Party,” “Doubt,” “There Came a Gypsy Riding,” “The Sea,” “Female of the Species,” and “All That Fall.” Earlier this year, Atkins created another one-women show, “Ellen Terry with Eileen Atkins,” which recreated some of Victorian actress Terry’s legendary lectures on Shakespeare. In the production, Atkins plays ten Shakespearean roles, in what The Guardian described as “a master class in the art of acting.”
For television, Atkins co-created the classic series “Upstairs Downstairs” (1971-1975) and “The House of Elliot” (1991-1993) with Jean Marsh. She also acted in the 2010 reprise of “Upstairs Downstairs.” In 2008, she won a BAFTA and an Emmy for her role in “Cranford.” Her many other television appearances include: “The Three Sisters,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “The Lady From the Sear,” “Electra,” “She Fell Among Thieves,” “Sons and Lovers,” “Oliver Twist,” “Smiley’s People,” “Titus Andronicus,” “A Better Class of Person,” “The Vision,” “Roman Holiday “The Lost Language of Cranes,” “Talking Heads,” “Madame Bovary,” “David Copperfield,” Mike Nichols’ “Wit,” “Bertie and Elizabeth,” “The Lives of Animals,” “Love Again,” “Agatha Christie’s Marple,” “Waking the Dead,” “Agatha Christie: Poirot,” “This September,” “Psychoville,” and “Doc Martin.”
Dame Eileen’s film credits include: INADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE, THE DEVIL WITHIN HER, RAKU FIRE, EQUUS, THE DRESSER, LET HIM HAVE IT, WOLF, COLD COMFORT FARM, JACK & SARAH, THE AVENGERS (1998 version), WOMEN TALKING DIRTY, GOSFORD PARK, THE HOURS, WHAT A GIRL WANTS (opposite her MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT co-star Colin Firth), A LONG WEEKEND IN PEST AND BUDA, COLD MOUNTAIN, VANITY FAIR, THE QUEEN OF SHEBA’S PEARLS, ASK THE DUST, THE FEAST OF THE GOAT, SCENES OF A SEXUAL NATURE, EVENING, LAST CHANCE HARVEY, WILD TARGET, ROBIN HOOD, THE SCAPEGOAT, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, and upcoming, SUITE FRANÇAISE, with Margot Robbie and Michelle Williams.
JACKI WEAVER (Grace) is an Australian theater, film and television actress well known in her home country for more than 50 years. She is best known outside Australia for her performance in David Michôd’s ANIMAL KINGDOM (2010), for which she was nominated for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She also received a National Board of Review Award, her third Australian Film Institute Award and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama.
Most recently, Weaver received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in David O. Russell’s THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, co-starring alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. It was the first film since 1981’s Reds to score Oscar nominations in all four acting categories.
Up next for the actress is crime-drama The Voices, co-starring Anna Kendrick and Ryan Reynolds; drama Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, co-starring Gena Rowlands and Julian Sands; and Haunt, an indie horror film.
Weaver made her Hollywood debut with the comedy THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT, alongside Emily Blunt and Jason Segel. She then went on to co-star in Park Chan-Wook’s STOKER, alongside fellow Australian actors Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowska.
Weaver’s film debut came with 1971’s STORK, for which she won her first Australian Film Institute Award. In the 1970s, Weaver gained a sex symbol reputation thanks to her sizzling performances in the likes of ALVIN PURPLE. Her ther notable films from her early career include Peter Weir’s PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK, considered one of Australia’s greatest films, and CADDIE, for which she won her second Australian Film Institute Award.
Weaver's extensive television experience includes two situation comedy series written especially for her, “Trial by Marriage” and “House Rules.” She has starred in more than a hundred plays in Australian theatre, including: “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” “Death of a Salesman” and most recently, a Sydney stage production of Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya,” alongside Cate Blanchett. The production received so much praise that the cast reprised
their roles for a run at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and then again for the 2012 Lincoln Center Festival in New York City.
Weaver resides in Sydney, Australia and Los Angeles, California.
HAMISH LINKLATER (Brice) is currently starring in the CBS comedy “The Crazy Ones,” and recently played senior producer “Jerry Dantana” in Aaron Sorkin’s HBO drama “The Newsroom.” He also played “Matthew Kimble” in the series “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”
His theatre performances include “Seminar” (Broadway debut opposite Alan Rickman), “School for Lies”(Classic Stage Company, Obie Award), “A Comedy of Errors,” “The Merchant of Venice,” “The Winter's Tale,” “Twelfth Night” (Drama Desk nomination) and “Hamlet” at the Public Theatre. He will be seen this summer at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park in “Much Ado About Nothing.” His play “The Vandal” premiered in 2013 at The Flea Theater.
Linkater’s notable film appearances include: LOLA VERSUS, BATTLESHIP, 42, and THE FUTURE, opposite Miranda July. He will next be seen in THE ANGRIEST MAN IN BROOKLYN.
Linklater was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, to Kristin Linklater, a Professor of Theatre and Chair of the Acting Division at Columbia University and a renowned teacher of vocal technique, and Jim Cormeny. He grew up in the Berkshires, where his mother was a founder of the Shakespeare & Company drama troupe. Linklater was eight years old when he began doing small Shakespearean roles.
MARCIA GAY HARDEN (Mrs. Baker) won the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as artist Lee Krasner in POLLOCK (2000). She also won an award from the New York Film Critics Circle, plus supporting actress nominations from the Independent Spirits and the National Society of Film Critics. Harden was also nominated for Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of the down-and-out “Celeste” in MYSTIC RIVER (2003), among numerous awards and nomination for the film.
Harden’s other film credits include: MILLERS CROSSING, CRUSH, USED PEOPLE , SAFE PASSAGE, THE SPITFIRE GRILL, THE FIRST WIVES CLUB, DESPERATE MEASURES, MEET JOE BLACK, SPACE COWBOYS, SPY HARD, FLUBBER, GAUDI AFTERNOON, CASA DE LOS BABYS, MONA LISA SMILE, WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT, P.S., BAD NEWS BEARS, AMERICAN GUN (Independent Spirit nomination), AMERICAN DREAMZ, THE DEAD GIRL, THE HOAX, CANVAS, THE INVISIBLE, THE MIST, INTO THE WILD, RAILS & TIES, HOME, THOMAS KINDADE’S HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, THE MAIDEN HEIST, WHIP IT, A CAT IN PARIS (voice), DETACHMENT, SOMEDAY THIS PAIN WILL BE USEFUL TO YOU, NOAH’S ARK: THE NEW BEGINNING (voice), IF I WERE YOU, PARKLAND, THE WINE OF SUMMER,
On TV, Harden has been seen in “Sinatra” (as Ava Gardner), “The Education of Max Bickford,” “King of Texas,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress), “Damages,” “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler” (nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie), “Royal Pains,” “Bent,” “Tron: Uprising,” “Isabel,” and “The Newsroom,” among many others. Harden recently finished her first season on the ABC comedy series “Trophy Wife.”
Harden has been acclaimed for her stage performances in “Angels in America: Millenium Approaches” (Theatre World Award,” Tony and Drama Desk nominations), “Angels in America: Perestroika” (Tony nomination), and “God of Carnage” (Tony Award, Drama Desk nomination).
Upcoming projects for Harden include “ELSA & FRED, with Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer, and the highly anticipated FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, in which she plays Christian Grey’s mother.
LETTY ARONSON (Producer) previously produced Woody Allen’s BLUE JASMINE, TO ROME WITH LOVE, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (nominated for the Academy Award® for Best Picture in 2012), YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER, WHATEVER WORKS, VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA, CASSANDRA’S DREAM, SCOOP, MATCH POINT, MELINDA AND MELINDA, HOLLYWOOD ENDING, and THE CURSE OF THE JADE SCORPION.
Her extensive film, television, and stage experience includes numerous other collaborations with Mr. Allen. She co-executive-produced such films as DON’T DRINK THE WATER, which marked Mr. Allen’s first foray into television moviemaking, BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, which garnered seven Academy Award® nominations, winning for Best Supporting Actress (Dianne Wiest), MIGHTY APHRODITE, for which Mira Sorvino won the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actress, and SWEET AND LOWDOWN, for which Sean Penn and Samantha Morton both earned Academy Award® nominations. Her other credits as a co-executive producer include Mr. Allen’s highly acclaimed musical comedy EVERYONE SAYS I LOVE YOU, as well as his films CELEBRITY, DECONSTRUCTING HARRY and SMALL TIME CROOKS.
In addition, Aronson co-executive-produced THE SPANISH PRISONER, written for the screen and directed by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and critically acclaimed filmmaker David Mamet. Critics universally praised the film when it was released in 1998. She also co-executive-produced INTO MY HEART, which was written and directed by two newcomers, Sean Smith and Anthony Stark, and Coky Giedroyc’s WOMEN TALKING DIRTY, starring Helena Bonham Carter, which marked Ms. Aronson’s first European co-production with Elton John’s Rocket Pictures.
Her credits also include “Dinah Was,” the off-Broadway musical about blues legend Dinah Washington, THE STORY OF A BAD BOY, written and directed by acclaimed playwright Tom Donaghy, JUST LOOKING, a heartwarming coming-of-age film directed by Jason Alexander, and the comedy SUNBURN, directed by Nelson Hume, which screened at the Galway Film Festival and the 1999 Toronto International Film Festival.
Aronson’s television work includes “Saturday Night Live” and “The Robert Klein Comedy Hour,” both for NBC. In the world of theatre, she served as associate producer of “Death Defying Acts,” an off-Broadway comedy consisting of three one-act plays written by Elaine May, Woody Allen, and David Mamet. She had earlier served as Vice President of the Museum of Television and Radio for ten years.
STEPHEN TENENBAUM (Producer), previously produced Woody Allen’s BLUE JASMINE, TO ROME WITH LOVE and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, which was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Picture in 2012. He also produced Allen’s VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA, winner of the 2008 Golden Globe® for Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical), YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER, WHATEVER WORKS, and CASSANDRA’S DREAM. He served as executive producer on SCOOP, MATCH POINT, MELINDA AND MELINDA, ANYTHING ELSE, HOLLYWOOD ENDING, and THE CURSE OF THE JADE SCORPION, the last of which marked his first onscreen producing credit.
Tenenbaum graduated with a B.S. from New York University, where he majored in Accounting. He began his show business career in the financial arena, handling such noteworthy clients as The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen, Percy Faith, the Platters, Nat King Cole, Mario Lanza, Gilda Radner, Robin Williams, and many others. Tenenbaum later decided to venture into the field of motion picture and television production, as well as personal management. He is currently a partner in Morra, Brezner, Steinberg & Tenenbaum Entertainment, Inc. (MBST), where his client roster includes Woody Allen, Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, and Alain Boubil (the creator of “Les Misérables” and “Miss Saigon”). MBST has also been involved in the production of feature films including Barry Levinson’s GOOD MORNING VIETNAM, Steve Gordon’s ARTHUR, Danny DeVito’s THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN, and Bill Paxton’s THE GREATEST GAME EVER PLAYED, among others.
EDWARD WALSON (Producer) is owner of Service Electric Broadband Cable TV of New Jersey. An experienced broadcaster and Emmy Award winning producer of local news, weather and entertainment programming, Walson is the son of the man credited with inventing the cable television industry.
He also a hotel and restaurant in Florida, and plays an active philanthropic role in the Elton John Aids Foundation, amfAR, the T.J. Martell Foundation and law enforcement. Walson is also an active investor and producer of independent feature films and Broadway plays. His film credits include CITY ISLAND and BLUE JASMINE. His stage credits include Broadway’s “Relatively Speaking,” “Cinderella.” and “Bullets Over Broadway.” His future projects include the film HEMINGWAY AND FUENTES and TIME OUT OF MIND.
MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT is the 23rd film that HELEN ROBIN (Co-Producer) has co-produced for Woody Allen. She began her film career as a production assistant on Allen’s STARDUST MEMORIES. Over the course of his next 22 films, she worked her way up from an office production assistant, production coordinator, and production manager to, eventually, line producer. Robin co-produced ALICE, SHADOWS AND FOG, HUSBANDS AND WIVES, MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY, BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, MIGHTY APHRODITE and EVERYONE SAYS I LOVE YOU.
Following the last, she left Allen’s production company to take some time off and do freelance film work. During that period, she worked as an associate producer on Allan Arkush’s highly-rated television miniseries “The Temptations,” for Hallmark Entertainment and NBC.
After a three-year hiatus, Robin returned to work with Woody Allen on his comedy SMALL TIME CROOKS, which she co-produced. She has since served as a co-producer on all of his films, including SCOOP, MELINDA AND MELINDA, ANYTHING ELSE, HOLLYWOOD ENDING, THE CURSE OF THE JADE SCORPION, MATCH POINT, CASSANDRA’S DREAM, VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA, WHATEVER WORKS, YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, TO ROME WITH LOVE, and BLUE JASMINE.
RAPHAËL BENOLIEL (Co-Producer) was born in Nice, France and began his career in the film industry at seventeen as a production assistant. He worked his way up to Coordinator, then Production Manager, and on to Line Producer while contemporaneously studying Law and Business. In 2000, Benoliel and his partner Dimitri Veret founded the production company FIRSTEP to produce their own projects and assist the filming of foreign productions in France.
Benoliel’s Co-Producer/Line Producer credits include: Richard Curtis’ LOVE ACTUALLY; Stephen Frears’ THE QUEEN and CHÉRI; Michael Winterbottom’s A MIGHTY HEART; Woody Allen’s MIDNIGHT IN PARIS; Tom Hooper’s LES MISÉRABLES; Lasse Hallström’sTHE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY; and for Working Title, MR. BEAN’S VACATION and JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN. His additional French unit producing credits include REDS 2, THE SMURFS 2, and TRANCE.
A Former board member of Film France, Benoliel helped to create the TRIP (Tax Credit for International Production). With more than twenty years in the industry, he has been fortunate to work with talented and internationally renowned directors such as Alfonso Cuaron, Danny Boyle, Stephen Frears, Woody Allen, Neil Jordan and many more.
RONALD L. CHEZ (Executive Producer) has been the President and Sole Owner of Ronald L. Chez, Inc., a corporation that provides financial management consulting, invests in public and private companies, structuring of new ventures, and mergers and acquisitions since 1971. He is Co-Chairman of Merriman Capital, and is the non-executive Chairman of EpiWorks, Inc., a manufacturer of compound semi-conductors based in Champaign, Illinois. Chez has been a director, officer, and co-founder of several private and public companies.
He is Chairman of the Chez Family Foundation, which has been involved in numerous philanthropic activities, including: the Chicago Youth Success Foundation (CYSF), which provided Chicago’s Public High Schools with a broader range of extracurricular activities; The Chez Family Scholarship Fund, based at the University of Illinois, which assists economically disadvantaged students from the inner city; the Center for Urological Health at NorthShore University Health Systems; and the Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education, which will be located at the University of Illinois.
Chez graduated from the University of Illinois, Bronze Plaque with special honors, with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science. He is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.
Academy Award®-nominated DARIUS KHONDJI, A.S.C., A.F.C. is one of the most celebrated cinematographers in contemporary cinema. He previously worked with Woody Allen on ANYTHING ELSE, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, and TO ROME WITH LOVE.
Khondji’s feature credits include: Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s DELICATESSEN; THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN and ALIEN RESURRECTION; David Fincher’s SEVEN and PANIC ROOM; Bernardo Bertolucci’s STEALING BEAUTY; Alan Parker's EVITA; Neil Jordan’s IN DREAMS; Roman Polanski’s THE NINTH GATE; Danny Boyle’s THE BEACH; Sydney Pollack’s THE INTERPRETER; Philippe Parreno’s ZIDANE: A 21ST CENTURY PORTRAIT; Wong Kar-wai’s MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS; Michael Haneke’s FUNNY GAMES (2007) and AMOUR; Stephen Frears’ CHÉRI; and James Gray’s THE IMMIGRANT.
French, born in Tehran, Iran, to an Iranian father (who owned movie theatres) and a French mother, Khondji grew up in France where he began making Super-8 films in his teens. After studying film at New York University and the International Center for Photography, he returned to France where he worked as an assistant cameraman and lighting director, before making his debut as a Director of Photography in 1989 on F.J. Ossange’s THE TREASURE OF THE BITCH ISLANDS, a sci-fi movie in black and white and CinemaScope which became a cult film, and for which he was interviewed by Cahiers du Cinema, for which it conducted one of its rare interviews with a cinematographer. Khondji’s breakthrough came the next year with his acclaimed work on Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s DELICATESSEN.
Khondji’s many nominations and awards include: Academy Award and BAFTA nominations for EVITA; Cesar nominations for DELICATESSEN, THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN and AMOUR; American Society of Cinematographers nominations for SE7EN and EVITA; and an Independent Spirit nomination for MIDNIGHT IN PARIS.
A graduate of the École Spéciale of Architecture in Paris, ANNE SEIBEL ADC (Production Designer) previously teamed with Woody Allen on MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Achievement in Art Direction; and TO ROME WITH LOVE.
More recently, Seibel worked on Lisa Azuelos’ QUANTUM LOVE (“Une recontre”), her first French film as a production designer. She is currently working on “Rosemary’s Baby,” a four-hour TV mini-series based on Ira Levin’s book and starring Zoe Saldana.
Seibel has an extensive background as an art director for films shot in France, notably James Lapine’s IMPROMPTU and Sofia Coppola’s MARIE ANTOINETTE, as well as for international films during their European shooting. Her art director credits include Steven Spielberg’s MUNICH (Paris and Munich), David Frankel’s THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, Brett Ratner’s RUSH HOUR 3, M. Night Shyamalan’s THE HAPPENING, Stephen Sommers’ G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA (Prague), and Clint Eastwood’s HEREAFTER. Seibel also served as art director for French episodes of “Sex and the City” and “The Sopranos.”
Seibel made her debut as a Production Designer in 2003 on Eric Styles’ TEMPO, followed by Dev Benegal’s ROAD, MOVIE, filmed in India. Her credits as Art Director include Michel Lang’s CLUB DE RENCONTRES, Michel Drach’s IL EST GÉNIAL PAPY!, Serge Gainsbourg’s STAN THE FLASHER, and Serge Leroy’s TAXI DE NUIT.
Seibel’s art department credits include Jon Glen’s A VIEW TO A KILL and THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS, Fred Schepisi’s PLENTY, Conny Templeman’s NANOU, Richard Heffron’s LA RÉVOLUTION FRANÇAISE, John MacKenzie’s VOYAGE, Renny Harlin’s CUTTHROAT ISLAND, Randall Wallace’s THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK, Tony Scott’s SPY GAME, Dominic Sena’s SWORDFISH, and Frank Coracci’s AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. Also a photographer, Seibel has had numerous exhibitions of her work.
Seibel is the head of the Production Design Department at the prestigious National French Film School, La Fémis.
ALISA LEPSELTER (Editor) marks her sixteenth collaboration with Woody Allen with MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT. She first teamed with him on the critically acclaimed SWEET AND LOWDOWN, and has since edited all his features films including MATCH POINT, VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA (for which she was nominated for an ACE award), MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (for which she received another ACE award nomination), TO ROME WITH LOVE, and BLUE JASMINE.
Lepselter began her editing career as an intern on Jonathan Demme’s SOMETHING WILD. She has also worked with such acclaimed filmmakers as Nicole Holofcener, Nora Ephron, Francis Ford Coppola, and Martin Scorsese.
SONIA GRANDE (Costume Designer) has previously worked with Woody Allen on VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, and TO ROME WITH LOVE. She teamed with Pedro Almodóvar on TALK TO HER, and BROKEN EMBRACES; with Alejandro Amenábar on THE OTHERS, THE SEA INSIDE; and with Nancy Meyers, on IT’S COMPLICATED. During her career, Sonia has worked in four continents and has also collaborated with such directors as Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu, Todd Field, Fernando Trueba and Luis Puenzo, among others.
Grande studied at the Royal School of Drama in Madrid. She began her career working as an assistant costume designer to Italian and Spanish costume designers Andrea D’Odorico, Miguel Narros, Emanuele Luzzati, and Gerardo Vera, all of whom were also directors of national theater companies.
After ten years with the National Ballet of Spain, designing productions of Moliere, Shakespeare, Calderón de la Barca, and Cervantes, Grande started working full time on costume design for film in 1990.
Grand won a Goya Award for Fernando Trueba’s THE GIRL OF YOUR DREAMS and nominated nine times for this same award for EVEN THE RAIN, BROKEN EMBRACES, THE BLIND SUNFLOWERS, LOLA, HORMIGAS EN LA BOCA, THE WHORE AND THE WHALE, THE OTHERS, BUTTERFLY’S TONGUE, and LA CELESTINA. In 2005, she was nominated for the Silver Condor Award (Argentina) for THE WHORE AND THE WHALE. In 2008, Grande received the ACPC Award for Best Costume Design for her work in commercials.
JULIET TAYLOR (Casting Director) has worked with some of the leading directors of our time, including Mike Nichols, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, Louis Malle, Martin Scorsese, Alan Parker, James L. Brooks, John Schlesinger, Stephen Frears, Nora Ephron, Neil Jordan and Sydney Pollack. She has cast more than eighty films, with more than thirty of them for Woody Allen. Among her credits are: SCHINDLER'S LIST, TERMS OF ENDEARMENT, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, DANGEROUS LIAISONS, BIG, THE GRIFTERS, MISSISSIPPI BURNING, THE KILLING FIELDS, WORKING GIRL, JULIA, TAXI DRIVER, NETWORK, PRETTY BABY and THE EXORCIST. She won an Emmy Award for casting on the HBO Miniseries “Angels in America.” Her work with Woody Allen dates back to LOVE AND DEATH in 1975 and most recently includes MATCH POINT, CASSANDRA'S DREAM, SCOOP, VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA, WHATEVER WORKS, YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, TO ROME WITH LOVE, and BLUE JASMINE.
Taylor graduated from Smith College in 1967, and joined the staff of David Merrick, remaining there until the spring of 1968. At that time, she went to work as a secretary to Marion Dougherty who was opening a motion picture casting office in New York. In 1973, when Marion Dougherty left casting to produce films, Taylor ran Marion Dougherty Associates until 1977, when she became Director of East Coast Casting for Paramount Pictures. She left that position in 1978 to cast motion pictures independently.
Prior to MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT, PATRICIA DiCERTO (Casting Director) served as casting director on Woody Allen's BLUE JASMINE, TO ROME WITH LOVE, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER, VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA, CASSANDRA'S DREAM, MATCH POINT, and SCOOP. She's also cast such independent features as JOSHUA, starring Sam Rockwell and Vera Farmiga, FLANNEL PAJAMAS, starring Julianne Nicholson and Justin Kirk, EULOGY, starring Ray Romano and Debra Winger, MARIE AND BRUCE, starring Julianne Moore and Matthew Broderick, ONCE MORE WITH FEELING, starring Chazz Palminteri, Drea DeMatteo and Linda Fiorentino, and most recently THE DISCOVERERS, starring Griffin Dunne.
In addition, DiCerto has worked alongside a number of the industry's top casting directors, including her longtime association with Juliet Taylor. As a casting associate, DiCerto has been involved in the casting of fourteen Woody Allen films, and has had the opportunity to work with directors such as James L. Brooks, Sydney Pollack, Mike Nichols, Alan Parker, Nora Ephron, and more recently with David Frankel and Martin Scorsese, among others.