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Match Point just joined Brokeback Mountain and Cinderella Man in the
top three films for me this year. Like Brokeback Mountain, however, it
is almost impossible to write a reasonably intelligent review without
writing a spoiler.
I have been a hot and cold Woody Allen watcher, but was only a fan
during his comedic phase. So, despite hearing from a few reliable
sources that this is Woody's masterpiece, I was skeptical and went in
with few expectations. I am glad. Approaching the movie this way
allowed it to creep up on me.
The NYC Jewish dialog is gone. The quirky sense of humor is nowhere to
be found. the hypersensitivity is missing. Where's Woody? Well, he's in
London, but the place and time, despite the opinions of some critics,
are largely irrelevant in this film.
There is only one line in this film that indicates its origin - it has
something to do with 'intertwined neuroses' and nearly made me laugh.
The first 3/4ths of this film is almost completely taken up with
character development, but also contains all of the basics of the
inexorable plot that truly unfolds near the end. The characters are all
quite likable, and, if you're like me, you will yearn for a happy
ending. Watch out! - you've just been hooked and Woody's about to reel
Match Point draws its audience in quietly and slowly at first, defining
its territory as a smart, hip, and sophisticated character study early
on (in no way unexpected for Mr. Allen), but then it takes an
irreversibly sinister turn as one man threatens to bring everybody we
have grown to love and respect down with him.
The performances and cinematography in this film are all-around the
best I've seen this year. Allen uses a lot of very close-in face shots,
and his cast handles it with ease, performing their parts with accuracy
and no lack of passion. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Emily Mortimer, and
Scarlett Johanssen are all excellent, and the rest of the cast lends
excellent support. I found no fault in the pace or the plot - this is
easily Woody's most plot-heavy film, and you can tell that he had a
great time putting it together.
The story line of Match Point is powerful, disturbing, and exceedingly
clever. Philosophical folks will likely want to talk about it
afterward. Some will find it frustrating and others will find it
pretentious. Still others will point to Woody's own life and claim that
this film is some form of perverse confession. Well, from my
perspective, it is simply damn good story-telling.
Highly recommended for adult audiences.
Tags for Match Point Full Movie
, Jonathan Rhys Meyers
, Matthew Goode
, Paul Kaye
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