It's nice to see that after all these years, Woody was able to step back and create a film so removed and different from certain aspects of himself.
Overall, the ending employed here doesn't work as well as it does in other Woody Allen films.
I was excited to see Match Point simply because, as a fan of Woody Allen, his last film Melinda and Melinda, made me want to shoot myself. Afterall, how many stories about people in New York can one guy do before they begin to repeat themselves? As a devout fan of Mr. Allen's, I was starting to listen to the talk that had begun ever since Husbands and Wives (one of his best) came out.
So this tale of of Chris (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers), a man from humble beginnings who finds himself in a relationship and then marrying the daughter of a very well to do man, gets overly complicated when he begins to have an affair with Nola (Scarlett Johansson), a woman his brother-in-law used to be with. At first Nola resists him, especially when she is still with Chris's legal sibling, but they begin an affair that eventually turns into a fatal attraction and then just turns fatal.
While I felt that the first 70% of Match Point was the best Woody Allen movie I had seen since Manhattan Murder Mystery, the final 30% left me wondering if things couldn't have been done a bit differently.
No extras came with this DVD.
1.85:1 - Widescreen. The shots for this movie are even composed differently than a lot of Woody's recent works. In fact, except for the old piano music which seems to purposely play from a very scratchy recording, if you simply showed me this film with no credits, I would have no idea that it came from Woody Allen. Overall, I think it is a nice departure and I look forward to seeing what Allen does next now that he has freed himself from himself.
Dolby Digital 5.1 - English. Dolby Digital 1.0 - French. Woody Allen relies on dialogue moreso than many other directors. In fact, he only seems to use visuals as a way of establishing where we are in the story. His action is the dialogue of the characters. We might see them do something but they will always expound on what they did. This is where it seems Woody Allen really grabs people. He is constantly asking questions and as a result he makes people ask questions too.
Scarlett Johansson whispers into the ear of Jonathan Rhys-Meyers who looks curiously like Jude Law on this black and white front cover photo. Interestingly, this cover recalls Allen's other film Interiors, which makes sense because that film was seen as Allen's first departure into "serious" material. The back cover offers some shots from the movie, a well written description of what this film is about, a cast list and some technical specs. Overall, this DVD is pretty barren but when you realize that's how all Woody Allen DVDs are (even the sets), this is par for the course.
I am starting to wonder if Woody Allen is having a problem closing the show?
I ask this question because so much of Match Point was perfect until the last portion of the movie. I was reminded of the sadness I felt as a viewer when Small Time Crooks started off so promising and then just devolved into really bad slapstick. It was almost baffling in how that movie could go from being so good to something unrecognizable. Now, Match Point doesn't have that bad of a problem but if you really want to see the ending done better, look no further than Crimes and Misdemeanors, yet another special film by Woody Allen.
Match Point was released October 26, 2005.