Sneak Preview - Match Point

by robbiefreeling
December 16, 2005 6:54 AM
1 Comment
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Riding on approximately seven months of Cannes hype, Woody Allen's Match Point still manages to impress. God knows why Dreamworks' idiotic release strategy has played out in the manner it has (the film should have been released a couple of months ago, at least, both to more proficiently capitalize on its festival buzz and to avoid all the competition of the other "serious" and "adult" holiday releases that come about for Oscar time), but if it gets the proper exposure it could burst out of its niche audience easily. Fluid, trenchant, elegant storytelling, told with a devilish mastery that not only have we not seen from Woody Allen for quite some time but just about any filmmaker either, Match Point has been compared to Flaubert, to Barry Lyndon, and of course to his own Crimes and Misdemeanors, which of course refers back to Dostoyevsky, but let me add another reference to the hype: for me, this was Woody's Chabrol film. Classical and class-dissecting (in broad, novelistic terms...certainly not new but compelling nonetheless, especially after Melinda and Melinda's wine-clutching nonchalance), with some surprisingly suspenseful subjective discomfort that would make even Hitchcock nod in delight, Woody's film is, as we've been promised, one of the season's delights.

And odd for Woody: all of his main players are young and gorgeous, both Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Scarlett Johansson, while perhaps not our greatest thespians, are utilized brilliantly, their bee-stung lips and increasingly frenetic brows caught up in a wonderfully melodramatic whirlwind of infidelity. It's been called most un-Woody-like, but it seems to me like the same gift, different wrappings. Just as philosophical as any of his more chamber-like dramas yet with a strong genre grip and a propulsive forward motion, Match Point like his greatest, darkest works, surveys with the lightest of touches, a world borne out of incident and chance. Woody keeps returning to the word "luck," but what he really means is "chaos." In fact Match Point would match up nicely on a double bill with Herzog's Grizzly Man...two species duelling it out for supremacy, both stories told with a clinical eye disrupted by violent passion.

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1 Comment

  • comille | July 7, 2006 7:50 AMReply

    j'apprécie énormément jonathan rhys meyer, je ne suis pas une fan car je ne sait rien de lui mon rêve serai de le rencontrer
    malheureusement je suis française et je ne puis vous donner mes coordonées. mais si vous me réponder en fraçais on pourrai continuer cette conversationje reviendrais sur votre blog je ne sais pas si vous êtes une femme ou un homme si vous pouvez m'obtenir un rendez-vous avec jonathan rhys meyers (ce qui m'ettonnerai biensûr).Je pense que si vous faites un article sur ce film c'est que vous le connaissez pas du tout ou peu.Si vous voulez me répondre vous n'aurez qu'arajouter quelque chose sous votre article.Je suis stupide d'écrire à quelqu'un que je ne connaît pas que je ne verait sans doute jamais et qui ne receverra jamais ce message.En tous cas si vous le recevez répondez moi.Merci d'avance.Au revoir