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TOP 100 MOVIES in 2005!
MATCH POINT, 2005
Cast: Jonathan Reyes Meyers, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer, Mathew Goode, Brian Cox, Penelope Wilton
At a turning point in his life, a former tennis pro falls for a femme-fatal type who happens to be dating his friend and soon-to-be brother-in-law.
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An absorbing and hypnotic film that draws you in from start to finish through its taut suspenseful plot and compelling twists, Match Point is one of Woody Allen’s smartest films on the level of a Hitchcock thriller. In a rare break from most of his work, Woody sets his picture in London as opposed to his beloved New York City, which has provided the background for many of his pictures. But his new location provides a fresh take on Woody’s style of filmmaking and the characters feel part of their environment and the actors do a splendid job of following Woody’s unique yet distinct dialogue and writing.
The film focuses on various themes such as lust, passion, honesty and most notably, the idea of luck. The film follows a womanizer named Chris Wilton who feels trapped in a opulent world where he is tied down to his wife Chloe played by British beauty Emily Mortimer. However despite his feelings on confinement it’s not necessarily a life he seeks to abandon and his resolve is tested in the form of an American beauty, Nola, played by the sexy Scarlett Johansson.
Scarlett Johansson has yet to play a role where she distinguishes herself in films. That’s not jab at her talent as an actress but there has yet to be a film that challenges her. However Woody is able to bring about a different side of Scarlett she has yet to use in her films and here she does a terrific job playing a sultry, possessive yet vulnerable woman who ignites an illicit affair with Chris.
He film triumphs particularly with its unexpected and well done twist that are not only engaging but an understandable decision by certain characters, although you may not like them. Meyers is excellent as a smooth talking savvy charmer which only masks his insecure and dark nature. His character deals the most with luck and the ending provides an outcome no one saw coming, all in the name of luck, or rather chance.
Woody examines the notion that nothing is really in our control no matter how hard we try to make it so, however, that doesn’t mean people aren’t going to try. The desperation of certain characters in the film us a testament to that idea. Woody does an exceptional job of fleshing out real characters that are not a reflection of his neurotic persona but are rather complete individuals that are distinct from the ones he usually explores in his films.
The film also explores the influences of vices such as lust and greed which are dominating factors over certain characters such as Chris and Nola. Those vices lead to irrational decisions causing only more suffering to them and potentially those around them. Woody shows both the cause and effects ones those decision are put into play and what he delivers is a suspenseful and captivating tale.
Alfred Hitchcock was the master of suspense not simply because he used it in his films but it was the way he used it. He gradually built the tension with the looming suspense over every word of dialogue uttered, over every quiet moment; he was a master a manipulating suspense to his benefit and Woody Allen does the same here. Match Point is a psychological thriller with enough twists and complex characters that you’ll be entertained throughout this remarkable and smart film.