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MATCH POINT by Woody Allen

star star star match point
match point scarlett johansson Former tennis pro Chris Wilton (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) is now tennis instructor in an exclusive London club where he meets upper-class Tom Hewett (Matthew Goode). They share a common interest in the opera and quickly become friends. Chris meets Toms parents Alec (Brian Cox) and Eleanor (Penelope Wilton) and his sister Chloe (Emily Mortimer) who immediately falls in love with the handsome, racy Chris. Chloe and Chris start dating, but when Chris meets Nola Rice (Scarlett Johansson), unsuccessful American actress and Tom’s fiance, there is instant sexual attraction between them.
Eleanor hates her potential daughter-in-law because she’s American and because she’s not of the Hewett family’s financial and social league. Chris accepts a job in Alec Hewetts company, marries Chloe and he enjoys the financial advantages and social rise, but he is lusting for Nola. Then Tom and Nola split up and Nola vanishes from Chris’ life – but when he meets her again by chance, he starts a passionate affair with the sexy blonde.
In every free hour Chris meets Nola, but when she demands he shall leave Chloe and live with her, Chris can’t make up his mind. Nola is his passion, but Chris has gotten used to his new life-style and loves that at least as much as he loves Nola. Hiding his affair from Chloe gets harder and harder, and when Nola announces she’s pregnant, Chris has to make a decision …

Match Point is not a typical Woody Allen film – it does not play in New York, but in London, and there is no hint of the usual Woody Allen neuroses. Instead of neuroses, Woody concentrates mainly on one message: that it’s luck, not your talent or intentions, that will determine the results of your actions and the destiny of your life. The symbol for luck or bad luck is the tennis ball dancing on the net – it will either fall back into your half of the tennis court, or fall to the other side – luck decides if you win or lose. Which will divide the audience into those who nod approvingly and into those who don’t buy it.
Match Point is also a study of morality, social class, and relationships – and it deals with the question what is the more important thing in life – passion and love, or financial and social success.
It’s the story of Chris, and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is perfect as the man between passion and career, Emily Mortimer is the ideal trusting, naive (and a bit needy) wife, and Scarlett Johansson (who replaced Allen’s first choice Kate Winslet two weeks before shooting started) shows that she can really act (please, no more “The Island” movies!!) and play a “real” and complex character – she is sexy, passionate, wrathful, and vulnerable – and totally believable.
Match Point is a serious movie, not a comedy, but it does have it’s comic highlights – and that’s after the social study moves into thriller territory. Ewen Bremner (that’s Spud from “Trainspotting”) is hilarious as Inspector Dowd – and his opinions will decide if the ball falls into Chris’ half of the tennis court or over the net …

One Response to “MATCH POINT by Woody Allen”

  1. itsvery Movie Review Blog - Independent Film Reviews » SCOOP by Woody Allen Says:

    […] Woody Allen’s second film “Made in Great Britain” and starring the gorgeous Scarlett Johansson is a murder-mystery-comedy-fantasy not overly concerned with cultural (British/American) and class differences (unlike his first “London film” Match Point). Instead the main points of Scoop are the witty dialogue (Scarlett: “If you put our heads together, you’ll hear a hollow noise.” Woody: “The man is a liar and a murderer. I say that with all due respect.” “I was born of the Hebrew persuasion, but I converted to narcissism.” Scarlett: “Oh, you always see the glass half empty.” – Woody: “No, I always see the glass half full. Of poison!”) and Scarlett Johansson (and sex, of course – this is a Woody Allen-film). Not Woody Allen’s best, but far from his worst movie – it’s light entertainment, sure, without big revelations, but if you prefer sharp dialogue, Woody Allen and Scarlett Johansson to the hollow action and exercises in style many of today’s movies offer, then it’s good light entertainment and will make you laugh and smile – which is some achievement! […]

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