Match Point

Match Point

4.5 18
Director: Woody Allen

Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Emily Mortimer

     
 

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A clandestine love affair sends one man's charmed life into a tailspin in this dark, disturbing drama written and directed by Woody Allen, his first film set and shot in Great Britain and one his few films sans any humor. Chris Wilton (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) is an Irish tennis player with an impoverished background. Just accomplished enough to make his way onto the… See more details below

Overview

A clandestine love affair sends one man's charmed life into a tailspin in this dark, disturbing drama written and directed by Woody Allen, his first film set and shot in Great Britain and one his few films sans any humor. Chris Wilton (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) is an Irish tennis player with an impoverished background. Just accomplished enough to make his way onto the professional circuit, but not skilled enough to be a consistent winner, he now works as an instructor at a London tennis club. The wealthy Tom Hewett (Matthew Goode), who is as impressed by Chris's charm and good looks as he is by his game, takes a tennis lesson from the young man. Chris's intelligence and wit also make a strong impression on Tom's pretty sister, Chloe (Emily Mortimer), who soon falls for him. It isn't long before Chris and Chloe are engaged to be married, a match that pleases both Tom and his father, Alec (Brian Cox), a successful businessman who believes Chris has a bright future in his firm. However, Chris also feels an overwhelming attraction to Nola Rice (Scarlett Johansson), a sexy blonde from the United States who is dating Tom. Though Nola initially puts up some resistance, Chris gently nudges her in the direction of an affair. Passion soon ignites between the two, and they have a one-time sexual encounter, even as Chris and Chloe plan their wedding. Nola resists, however, when Chris makes additional attempts to wheedle her into bed. Nola drops out of Chris's life shortly before his wedding, but a chance meeting a few months later resurrects the relationship as Chris and Chloe try to start a family. Match Point received its world premiere in an enthusiastically received presentation at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Woody Allen shifts operations to London for this low-key but effective drama, which reworks elements of his earlier Crimes and Misdemeanors and throws in a little Crime and Punishment for good measure. As is often the case, Allen sets his story in an upper-class milieu; his characters -- educated, attractive, and articulate to a fault -- interact in museums, opera houses, and country estates. Chris (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), a socially ambitious tennis pro, becomes friendly with wealthy Tom (Matthew Goode) and his sister Chloe (Emily Mortimer), whom he eventually marries. Comfortably ensconced in a cushy job provided by his father-in-law (Brian Cox), Chris seems to have everything he’s ever wanted -- but he risks throwing it all away by having an affair with Tom’s girlfriend, Nola (Scarlett Johansson), a young American actress looking for work in London. Complications quickly ensue, and before long Chris finds himself in territory that will be recognizable to anyone familiar with the conventions of Hollywood film noir. Allen, who also wrote the screenplay, weaves an intricate web. Rhys Meyers impresses with his portrayal of a tightly wound schemer, and Johansson shows more of the promise we glimpsed in her breakthrough role in Lost in Translation. For much of the critical community, Match Point was a return to form after a slew of perfunctory Allen movies. One of the more intriguing films of 2005, it also signaled that changing locales was the best thing Allen could have done for his art.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Match Point is the most consistent Woody Allen picture in about 15 years. Not since Husbands and Wives has he shown such detail to the simple craft of storytelling, and this is what should give hope to longtime Allen fans who might have begun to question how many good films the great director may have left in him. The film does not break new ground thematically, but simply by setting the film in London it feels fresh. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is cast well as Chris Wilton, a tennis pro always looking to climb up the social ladder. His inherently cold features help make the character more menacing than might have been intended. It lends the character a steely confidence when a different actor might have played the character more passively. Matthew Goode turns in a fine supporting performance alongside Emily Mortimer and the always reliable Brian Cox as the rich family Chris befriends. Nola Rice, the femme fatale, appears at first to be a familiar character in Allen's work -- the emotionally erratic, sexually voracious woman. However, Allen smartly alters this stereotype in intriguing ways. Although the first scene overplays the character's hand, Scarlett Johansson brings an intelligence and a presence to the part the grounds it. She is beautiful, but she is not unstable. She is a three-dimensional person, not simply the personification of the lead male's erotic desires. The screenplay has a fatalism that will be familiar to anyone who knows Allen's non-comedies, a fact that bleeds some of the drama out of the third act of the film as many people will see how it is going to end. But good storytelling is as much about how events unfold as it is about how the story ends. Match Point offers the encouraging experience of a great director and writer rediscovering his muse thanks to a new city and new actors.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/25/2006
UPC:
0678149486629
Original Release:
2005
Rating:
R
Source:
Dreamworks Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
2:04:00
Sales rank:
14,699

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Scarlett Johansson Nola Rice
Jonathan Rhys Meyers Chris Wilton
Emily Mortimer Chloe Hewett Wilton
Matthew Goode Tom Hewett
Brian Cox Alec Hewett
Penelope Wilton Eleanor Hewett
Ewen Bremner Inspector Dowd
James Nesbitt Detective Banner
Rupert Penry-Jones Henry
Margaret Tyzack Mrs. Eastby
Alexander Armstrong Mr. Townsend
Paul Kaye Estate Agent
Janis Kelly "La Traviata" Performer
Alan Oke "La Traviata" Performer
Mark Gatiss Ping-Pong Player
Philip Mansfield Waiter
Simon Kunz Rod Carver
Geoffrey Streatfield Alan Sinclair
Mary Hegarty "Rigoletto" Performer
John Fortune John the Chauffeur
Patricia Whymark Telephone Operator
Anthony O'Donnell Custodian
Miranda Raison Heather
Rose Keegan Carol
Zoe Telford Samantha
Scott Handy Hewetts' Friend
Gilly Gilchrist Hewetts' Friend
Selina Cadell Margaret
Georgina Chapman Nola's Co-Worker
Colin Salmon Ian
Toby Kebbell Policeman
Steve Pemberton Detective Perry
Nikki Inwood Stand-In
Steve Morphew Stand-In

Technical Credits
Woody Allen Director,Screenwriter
Remi Adefarasin Cinematographer
Letty Aronson Producer
Nicky Kentish Barnes Co-producer
Sarah Best Producer
Matthew Bristowe Producer
Jim Clay Production Designer
Diane Dancklefsen Art Director
Lucy Darwin Producer
Patricia Kerrigan DiCerto Casting
Sarah Forbes Set Decoration/Design
Carmel Jackson Makeup
Sallie Jaye Makeup
Alisa Lepselter Editor
Begona Lopez Producer
Chris Newman Asst. Director
Helen Robin Co-producer
Jan Spoczynski Art Director
Gail Stevens Casting
Juliet Taylor Casting
Jill Taylor Costumes/Costume Designer
Stephen Tenenbaum Executive Producer
David Wahnon Sound Editor
Gareth Wiley Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Match Point
1. Welcome to London [6:12]
2. It's a Date [4:26]
3. An Aggressive Game [3:48]
4. Your Place or Mine? [2:55]
5. Luck vs. Hard Work [5:44]
6. Which Do You Prefer? [3:46]
7. Confidence [6:50]
8. Second Guesses [6:53]
9. Moving Up in the World [6:53]
10. Bad Timing [3:35]
11. Blind Chance [6:25]
12. A New Interest [1:09]
13. Getting Bored [4:48]
14. Bad Luck [2:27]
15. Feeling Guilty [4:34]
16. "On Holiday" [6:24]
17. Liar! [3:45]
18. The Plan [5:56]
19. The Tragedy of Life [3:06]
20. Unlucky [6:13]
21. Shocking News [5:36]
22. A Few Questions [6:19]
23. The Greater Scheme [6:47]
24. End Credits [7:06]

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