We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
In "Scoop," Woody Allen plays a third-rate comic and illusionist named Splendini, whose act is stuck in some kind of time-space warp. He's performing on a contemporary London stage, but his material is strictly 1950s Catskills schtick. And then, during one show, a dead investigative reporter briefly materializes in his magic disappearing box illusion.
The reporter is the late Joe Strombel ("Deadwood"'s Ian McShane), who has jumped ship on the River Styx and returned, fitfully, to the land of the living to pass on a whopping inside scoop he picked up on the ferry to the land of the dead: Prominent socialite Peter Lyman (Hugh Jackman), dashing son of one Lord Lyman, may be the notorious Tarot Card Killer! He's acting on a first-hand tip from a solid source, Lyman's former (as in deceased) secretary, who suspects she was one of his murder victims.
Somebody needs to investigate. Strombel wants to find a reporter to whom he can hand off this scoop of a lifetime, but instead he appears to Sondra Pransky (Scarlett Johansson), a bumbling student newspaper reporter for whom employment as a dental hygienist seems a more promising career path. Sondra has this unfortunate habit of sleeping with her interview subjects and then not getting the quotable part of the story.
Because Stombel materialized during Splendini's act, she enlists the magician's help -- his real name is Sid Waterman -- to dig up the dirt on their suspect. Sid is initially reluctant, but goes along with a ruse in which he poses as her father. Sondra begins to fall for the charming Lyman, and she and Sid spend most of the movie chattering endlessly about whether Lyman is or is not the Tarot Card Killer, switching sides at random several times during each gab fest. This is a relentlessly talky movie, but all the talk doesn't necessarily make for good (or funny, or coherent) conversation.