30 August 2010

Woody Allen: Day Twenty-Seven

It seems so hard to believe but Match Point is the first Woody Allen film I saw on the big screen. I saw it with a very dear friend in New York City in Times Square, yet strangely enough the film was shot entirely in London unlike many of his previous films. The tennis metaphor only made me want to see it more, especially considering how disappointing Wimbledon (2004) was. Match Point was seen as a return to form for Woody Allen after a string of disappointing films and it was his most critically praised film since 1999's Sweet and Lowdown. It is also the first of three films, to date, to star Scarlett Johansson. Match Point is one of Woody Allen's strongest films in a very long time and it serves as a thematic companion to Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989).

Chris (Johnathan Rhys Meyers) is a recently retired tennis player who takes a job as a tennis instructor at an upper class club. He strikes up a friendship with Tom (Matthew Goode) and soon begins a relationship with Tom's sister Chloe (Emily Mortimer). At a family gathering Chris is introduced to Tom's fiancee Nola (Scarlett Johansson), a struggling American actress. Chris is very attracted to Nola but is drawn to Chloe because of her family's financial wealth and he soon marries Chloe. However, after a chance encounter with Nola they begin having an affair. The affair leads Chris down a dangerous path and eventually forces him to make some very difficult decisions.

Match Point is Scarlett Johansson at her best, I have yet to see her in a better role. It is a great film that sparks dialogue and conversation, exactly what a good film should do. London is beautifully photographed in the film and with what I have seen from Woody Allen's recent films I hope he continues to use Europe as his inspiration.

Next up: Scoop.

My list:
1. Hannah and Her Sisters
2. Everyone Says I Love You
3. Manhattan
4. Bullets over Broadway
5. Annie Hall
6. Crimes and Misdemeanors
7. Radio Days
8. Husbands & Wives
9. Another Woman
10. The Purple Rose of Cairo
11. Broadway Danny Rose
12. Match Point
13. Love and Death
14. Sweet and Lowdown
15. Mighty Aphrodite
16. Interiors
17. Sleeper
18. Manhattan Murder Mystery
19. Zelig
20. Stardust Memories
21. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)
22. Take the Money and Run
23. Deconstructing Harry
24. Oedipus Wrecks from New York Stories
25. Bananas
26. Small Time Crooks
27. What's Up, Tiger Lily?
28. Melinda and Melinda
29. Alice
30. Shadows and Fog
31. Don't Drink the Water
32. September
33. A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy
34. Celebrity
35. Hollywood Ending
36. Anything Else
37. The Curse of the Jade Scorpion

1 comment:

  1. It's funny; MATCH POINT wasn't much liked in the UK, but I'd agree that it's one of Allen's best recent films. And yes, an interesting companion to CRIMES & MIDSDEMEANORS as well.