Match Point product details page

Match Point

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Match Point is the most consistent Woody Allen picture in about 15 years. Not since Husbands and Wives has he shown such detail to the simple craft of storytelling, and this is what should give hope to longtime Allen fans who might have begun to question how many good films the great director may have left in him. The film does not break new ground thematically, but simply by setting the film in London it feels fresh. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is cast well as Chris Wilton, a tennis pro always looking to climb up the social ladder. His inherently cold features help make the character more menacing than might have been intended. It lends the character a steely confidence when a different actor might have played the character more passively. Matthew Goode turns in a fine supporting performance alongside Emily Mortimer and the always reliable Brian Cox as the rich family Chris befriends. Nola Rice, the femme fatale, appears at first to be a familiar character in Allen's work -- the emotionally erratic, sexually voracious woman. However, Allen smartly alters this stereotype in intriguing ways. Although the first scene overplays the character's hand, Scarlett Johansson brings an intelligence and a presence to the part the grounds it. She is beautiful, but she is not unstable. She is a three-dimensional person, not simply the personification of the lead male's ****** desires. The screenplay has a fatalism that will be familiar to anyone who knows Allen's non-comedies, a fact that bleeds some of the drama out of the third act of the film as many people will see how it is going to end. But good storytelling is as much about how events unfold as it is about how the story ends. Match Point offers the encouraging experience of a great director and writer rediscovering his muse thanks to a new city and new actors. Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide

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