From a humble background and with traditional values, Irish Chris Wilton is still struggling financially despite being a recently retired high ranked tennis pro. He has taken a job as a tennis instructor at an upscale London tennis club, although he knows there is a better life for him somewhere down the road. He is befriended by one of his students, wealthy Tom Hewett. Chris starts to date Tom's sister, Chloe Hewett, a girl-next-door type who is immediately attracted to Chris. Chloe quickly knows she wants to marry Chris, and through her businessman father, Alec Hewett, tries to help Chris and their future by getting him an executive job in Alec's company. In his life with the Hewetts, Chris begins to enjoy the finer things in life. Through it all however, Chris cannot help thinking about Nola Rice, a struggling American actress who he meets at the Hewett estate and who is Tom's unofficial fiancée. Nola is vivacious, and she knows the effect she has on men, including Chris. Unlike ... 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 Tom picks up Chris and Chloe, he gets out of the car wearing only a shirt. When he gets back in the car, he is wearing a jacket. 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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Match Point is a cool, classically elegant and concise film that addresses all of the big questions--love, morality, death, fate, chance--without ever seeming heavy or self-conscious. I've never seen a Woody Allen film to match it. As a matter of fact, I can't remember another film of late that I thought was quite this good. From the opening shot, the film draws you in and doesn't let up, moving from shot to shot with a fine sense of rhythm and a narrative drive that builds the viewer's curiosity through a series of unexpected switchbacks. Rhys-Meyers is superb as an ex- professional tennis player from a poor Irish background who has turned social climber. Too proud to accept a favor from his upper class friends without immediately offering to pay it back, he affects an interest in opera and Strindberg. The viewer at once sympathizes with him and winces as he strains to seem refined and self-assured. Allen has put together a superb cast of young actors who bring his near flawless script to life so convincingly that one almost immediately suspends disbelief and becomes absorbed in the story. The shots of London are luxuriant and spacious, never self-indulgent. Few films, novels, or plays manage to form such rich dramatic material out of characters' inner obstacles. A classic piece of drama that reaches toward the likes of Shakespeare and Dostoevksy, every facet--from structure to dialog to editing to sound--is brought off with panache. This is not only Allen at his best but an example of what the cinematic medium is capable of when properly exploited.
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