Love Match Point
It's the summer, time for action movie blockbusters. This summer has been no exception, with "Superman Returns," "Miami Vice," "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," and of course, the anti-blockbuster blockbuster, "Snakes on a Plane." By coincidence, however, writer-director Woody Allen's 2005 film "Match Point" recently arrived in my mailbox from Netflix. It's an interesting counterpoint to the blockbusters.
For those who have not seen "Match Point," it is about the little things in life that are also the big things: love, truth, fidelity, desire, ambition. Oh, and it stars Scarlett Johansson. But I dig her for her acting skills in addition to her looks, and she is perfectly cast here as the femme fatale. Jonathan Rhys- Meyers skillfully plays a slithery, upwardly mobile London tennis instructor, a type of role that Jude Law usually plays.
"Match Point" touches on themes of lying, cheating and infidelity that are familiar from earlier Woody Allen dramas such as "Hannah and Her Sisters" and "Crimes and Misdemeanors." A couple of times, remembrances of Allen's own sordid marital past intruded on my viewing experience, but not enough to detract from the many pleasurable moments in which I found myself smiling and saying "aha!" Obviously, Allen believes in the adage "write what you know," and he is a master of the subject, and the filmmaking process.
The cinematography beautifully captures a sometimes sunny but often gloomy London and English countryside. At just over two hours, "Match Point" is considered long for a Woody Allen film, but holds the viewer's interest through various and sometimes very dark twists and turns.
There's nothing wrong with entertaining summer movie blockbusters and plenty of buttered popcorn. However, if you want some filet mignon with your popcorn, a "Match Point" rental is just the ticket.