Reviewed by: Jonathan Wooten
|Featuring:||Brian Cox, Matthew Goode, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers|
|Producer:||Stephen Tenenbaum, Gareth Wiley|
“Passion Temptation Obsession”
Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “MATCH POINT is a drama about a young man’s rise in society and the terrible consequences of his ambition. The protagonist is torn between two women, and finding no way out, resorts to extreme action. The actors are all English, and it is set amongst the English upper class with Scarlett Johansson playing the beautiful American girl who comes between Jonathan Rhys Meyers and his wife Emily Mortimer. Matthew Goode is Emily’s wealthy brother who initiates the tragic events.”
Woody Allen’s new film “Match Point” arrives in theatres with quite a bit of expectation. While he may not be the most popular man in town, many can’t help rooting for this film to indeed be his “return to form.” And why not, these are dry times at the multiplex, and a lot of us are really thirsty for another “Annie Hall”.
The story unfolds at a genteel pace, and we get the feeling we are in good hands. We follow washed-up tennis pro Chris Wilton (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) as he climbs London’s social ladder and eventually marries rich. Despite being the central character in the film, little is revealed about his background or what really makes him tick. At first, this is intriguing, but as the film progresses and ends, we are left to imagine what beliefs (or lack of beliefs) influenced his actions. This is the film’s fatal flaw.
He does seem to be a man who knows what he wants though, and one thing is for sure, he really wants Nola (Scarlett Johansson). To say anything more than, they have an affair and bad stuff happens, would be giving too much away. Let’s just say that this character-driven drama eventually turns into a rather predictable (albeit efficient) thriller. It’s a bit of a shame, given the talented leads and solid supporting cast (Bryan Cox, Emily Mortimer, Ewen Bremner, James Nesbitt). They do the best with what they are given though, and there is some witty dialogue.
With this film, Allen wants us to ponder the significance that chance plays in life (the phrase “it’s better to be lucky than good” is uttered more than once). Christians who believe God is in control and watching over us would argue with him over the mere existence of luck. I suspect this sort of discussion is exactly what he wanted.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate