I have to admit that I’m not Woody Allen’s biggest fan. He’s extremely talented and has produced and directed a lot of movies, but even when I did like his stuff, movies like Deconstructing Harry or Vicky Cristina Barcelona, I still got the impression that there was something missing – one more ingredient to make them perfect. And I felt as if Allen carefully builds his characters to a certain point, after which he just gives up and abandons his character to find their own way toward the end.
Match Point, Allen’s first movie set in England, was released in 2005, following a streak of movies that had failed to impress critics and viewers alike.
“The man who said “I’d rather be lucky than good” saw deeply into life. People are afraid to face how great a part of life is dependent on luck. It’s scary to think so much is out of one’s control. There are moments in a match when the ball hits the top of the net, and for a split second, it can either go forward or fall back. With a little luck, it goes forward, and you win. Or maybe it doesn’t, and you lose.”
Chris Wilton (Jonathan Rhys -Meyers) is a former professional tennis player who comes from a humble background. Both ambitious and lucky, but lacking the talent to make it big in the world of professional tennis, he finds a job as a tennis instructor at a club in London, where he befriends Tom Hewett (Matthew Goode), the son of a millionaire. He soon starts dating Tom’s older sister, Chloe (Emily Mortimer). But there’s a problem: Nola Rice (Scarlett Johansson), a young American actress and Tom’s fiancée. I’m afraid I can’t spoil what happens next, but I believe it’s worth the trouble.
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is brilliant, playing the role of this charming impostor driven by an insatiable ambition to succeed. The script is very well put together, the dialogue is believable, funny, and smart, the soundtrack consists of opera arias and works very well with the atmosphere of the movie.
What makes this movie so great? Chris Wilton. Because even though clearly missing any morality, he appeals to us, and we can only wonder what our reactions would have been if presented with similar dilemmas. It all rings true, we can’t help but feel that this is plausible, that this could actually happen in real life.
Match Point, the movie that even Woody Allen called “arguably his best ever,” is a brilliant portrayal of that always dangerous game called a “love triangle.”