Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Match Point

I saw an excellent movie this weekend, from writer and director Woody Allen called Match Point. If you are at all like me, then I'm surprised that you made it this far. How many times do we need to see the Woodster stutter and moan about his latest neurosis? Right? The good news is: he tastefully left himself out of this one, choosing instead to sit in the director's chair where he belongs.

Match Point is a brilliant piece of work. I don't claim to have seen all of his previous works, but I've seen more than my share. This movie is nothing like anything I've seen of his before. As the credits rolled, my wife and I looked at one another, totally stunned. That was a great movie, we kept saying, as if we didn't believe it. We didn't. The ending was outstanding, right up there in my book with the Sixth Sense. You might laugh after seeing it for this comparison, but I stand by it.

The theme of the movie--yes, I said theme, and yes I actually identified it--was luck, and its unheralded role in prosperity and despair. You see this theme at play throughout, in conversations and in action.

You may think, after watching the first half hour that you know how it will play out; but that is the power this picture holds over you. It denies what you know, defies your expectation, and keeps doing so until the end.

The characters defy modern stereotypes as well. It seems that in today's world, everyone has to be depraved in some fashion, that nobody can just be who they seem to be. Gone are the Capra days of the well-intended, the happy, the polite. Allen again breaks new ground, or old ground if you will. Of course, not all the players fit expectations, but who's who is part of the fun.

From a writer's standpoint, this is one of those head slappers. How in the hell did he do that? This is the best movie I've seen since, since... I can't remember.

16 comments:

Jada's Gigi said...

Wow! What an endorsement...I'll definitly have to check this one out though I'm allergic to Woody A...:)
Bet the boy shad a blast with that snake...

Beth said...

Scott, I LOVE a good film. I'll be picking it up this week!

Flood said...

I'll look for it, too. Maybe Woody will endorse you one day.

Sadie Lou said...

I have this on my Netflix que. Now I'm really excited to see it. This makes three reliable endorsements from friends or family.
I think I'll bump it up today.

Kathleen said...

Yeah, the words Woody Allen almost had me clicking back and not reading, so it's a good thing you put a disclaimer in there immediately. I can NOT watch that man!!! But since you recommended it, I'll give it a chance.

magnetbabe said...

I remember the ladies in my book group discussing it a few months ago and they gave it mixed reviews. Some of them I rarely share opinions with, and I haven't gone wrong by your recommendations. It's on the list.

Shesawriter said...

I saw it too and I liked it because it didn't have your typical cliched ending. Great flick.

Tanya

Miranda said...

*Laugh* Woody Allen=Bad. I was going to avoid this one. Maybe I won't afterall. Maybe.

Shesawriter said...

Oh, and btw, I LOVE the new look of your blog Scott. I missed you bud.

Tanya

Jaye Wells said...

I'm glad you gave this a review. When I saw the movie picture on the top of your entry, I thought, "Please tell me this movie isn't about competitive ping pong."

Moni said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out. It's true what you said about the fact that nobody seems to be able to be genuine now-of-days. I love it when people are genuinely happy and nice, but they are a rare occurance that's for sure.

Tee said...

Wow! Well with a review like that I'll HAVE to rent it! Match Point. Ok. I will get this one.

Toni Anderson said...

ooohh--great. A good movie to watch :)

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

Guess I'll have to check it out then. It got a good write up in the papers.

mr. schprock said...

I was telling someone the other day that Woody Allen might be a genius (whatever that is) and that I've been guilty of not fully appreciating him in his time. I believe he makes, on average, a movie a year — meaning, of course, that he writes and directs them all. I haven't seen this one, but on your recommendation I will. He made another movie back in around 1989 you might be impressed with called Crimes and Misdemeanors, which was extremely dark and extraordinarily well done.

Janie said...

DITTO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!