Friday 14 June 2024

Movie Review: Match Point (2005)

Genre: Romantic Crime Drama  
Director: Woody Allen  
Starring: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer, Matthew Goode, Brian Cox, Penelope Wilton  
Running Time: 124 minutes  

Synopsis: In London, tennis pro Chris Wilton (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) befriends his wealthy client Tom Hewett (Matthew Goode), leading to a serious romance with Tom's sister Chloe (Emily Mortimer). Meanwhile, Tom's fiancée is Nola (Scarlett Johansson), a struggling American actress. Although Chris is also immediately attracted to Nola, Chloe is his ticket to riches. Chloe's parents (Brian Cox and Penelope Wilton) help Chris launch a successful business career, but he cannot abandon his Nola infatuation, leading to numerous complications.

What Works Well: Woody Allen takes a break from neurosis to reflect on luck, class, justice, and the conflict between stability and lust as contradictory pursuits. Both Chris and Nola are outsiders to the elite Hewett family orbit, but while he is embraced, she is rejected, setting the stage for a divergence in the illicit lovers' destiny. After a deep investment in characters, Allen introduces a couple of delicious crime and punishment twists, adding zest to the final act. The quality cast bubbles with enthusiasm, Emily Mortimer particularly excelling along a romantic arc beset by unforeseen challenges. Sparkling London locations and an opera soundtrack accompany the unpredictable trajectories.

What Does Not Work As Well: One startling turning point is arguably inconsistent with a character's core capabilities, and while the content is rich, the running time could have used a trim.

Conclusion: Love could be life-changing, or just a zero.

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