If you’ve never seen a film written and directed by Woody Allen, then you’ve missed about one a year for a biblical generation. Those who have seen them all are like the old-timers in the congregation of a long-serving minister: they know that Allen is apt to repeat his standard themes, retell his favorite jokes and rely on a well-worn bag of tricks.

A running gag throughout Scoop is that Allen’s character, Sid, a mediocre stage magician, uses the same routine for every performance, right down to the banter with the helper from the audience. As with congregants, some people find this trait endearing and perhaps even cumulatively powerful. But only some.


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