A director is forced to work with his ex-wife, who left him for the boss of the studio bankrolling his new film. But the night before the first day of shooting, he develops a case of psychosomatic blindness.
Chris Wilton is a former tennis pro, looking to find work as an instructor. He meets Tom Hewett, a well-off pretty boy. Tom's sister Chloe falls in love with Chris but Chris has his eyes on Tom's fiancée, the luscious Nola. Both Chris and Nola know it's wrong but what could be more right than love? Chris tries to juggle both women but at some point, he must choose between them... Written by
Because it was filmed in Britain, Woody Allen had to have a certain percentage of British cast and crew. Apparently he made his quota before casting Kate Winslet. After she backed out to spend more time with her family, Allen cast American Scarlett Johansson. See more »
When he's returning the shotgun, Chris stuffs his pockets with the jewels and drugs of Mrs. Eastby, his pockets bulge to a degree. Moments later, when he enters the study for Chloe's announcement, his pockets are entirely empty. See more »
Christopher "Chris" Wilton:
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.
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"I Don't Care if He's Great, I Just Hope He's Lucky..."
...and what a great stroke of luck it is to have sat through Woody Allen's latest, "Match Point." Fans of Woody could sense his comeback in the tragedy half of his last effort, "Melinda and Melinda." It was far more compelling than the comedy half, and the philosophical ideas it brought up were the best Woody Allen had given us in a long while. Here with "Match Point" he explores the notion of luck and gives us his best film since....well, since I don't know when. He proves here that when he leaves himself out of the cast, and changes locations (the transition from New York City to London is as flawless as it is invigorating), he can deliver the goods. This film, free of all the typical Allen shtick, and full of noirish twists and surprises, is every bit as good as Robert Altman's "The Player" or "Gosford Park," and like those two films, it's the best kind of return to form you could hope for from a past master.
Chris Wilton (played moderately well by Johnathan Rhys Myers, who comes across as a more handsome Joquin Phoenix) is a failed tennis pro from Ireland who gets a plum job at a snobbish country club in London where he meets up with Tom (an appropriately British Matthew Goode), woos his sister, Chloe (an adorable Emily Mortimer), and has an affair with Tom's flighty fiancée, a struggling American actress named Nola (a ravishing Scarlett Johansson). The film starts off like a more refined version of last year's tawdry affair, "Closer," with Allen exploring the love lives of semi-bored, over-educated filthy rich Brits who when not hopping in and out of each other's beds are hob-nobbing at the opera, the latest art exhibit, or lounging around their lavish estates reading and drinking. There's also a hint of "The Talented Mr. Ripley" in its exploration of the class system and Chris' obsession with infiltrating this exclusive and beguiling society. Thankfully, we're spared all of the weirdness of an atrocity like "Ripley," as Allen keeps it all very clean, sheen, clever and classy.
The film takes some dark turns and has some operatic overtures, spiced with some Dostoevsky references and plenty of pondering on luck. Allen here doesn't seem to be writing off the need for hard work completely, but to achieve a truly privileged life, where one can get away with just about anything, you better have a lot of luck.
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