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
Nola calls Chris on his mobile when Alec and Eleanor Hewett are visiting. Chris's Motorola phone plays Nokia's default ringtone. 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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Allen discovers new terrain and creates his most ambitious film in years
It's been said, but for a while one of the best filmmakers of the 20th century has been staggering with mediocre films not nearly up to his potential. But finally Allen has returned to the game with a subtle but perfectly done thriller which allows him to reinvent himself and discover new terrain like a brand new filmmaker.
Match Point offers a simple but powerful message that luck plays a huge part in everyday life which to a major extent is true. Luck plays a huge part in Chris Wiltons life when he gets a job as a tennis trainer at a fancy club and meets Tom, the son of a rich business man. Tom invites Chris to an opera where he meets Chloe, the sister of Tom. From there, Chris and Chloe start to date and Chris, a small and unwealthy man, gets introduced to high society life. He's offered a high stakes job, a personal driver, etc, just to bring happiness into the life of Chloe.
Chris is perfectly content until he meets the beautiful Nola, played by Scarlett Johansson. Nola is everything Chloe is not, exciting, extremely sexy, and unwealthy, which leads to Chris's dilemma. Nola and Chris begin an affair that leads to even more once Tom dumps Nola giving Chris the opportunity to live out all his sexual desires with a beautiful woman, but the high life of Chloe overpowers the little ambitions and lack of money. Match Point is about luck but also about choices made in life for personal enjoyment. Is it better to be rich and not completely satisfied or poor and happy? As a failure, Chris finds luck with Chloe's rich family willing to set him up with whatever he desires.
The film is very similar to Woody's 1989 masterpiece Crimes and Misdemeanors and it takes similar turns. Chris gets himself in the situation where he must choose from a small life with a woman he is satisfied and turned on by or choose a high society life with a woman he barely loves and lacks attraction to. I won't tell you what he chooses, but I will tell you the dilemma leads Allen to his most satisfying, tense, engaging film in over a decade.
It's great to see Allen take such a simple premise, used several times, and put all his trademark qualities into it mixed with a discovery of new terrain. Match Point is an engaging, entertaining film that gives you a taste of the high life and shows you what it can lead a man to. 10-10 for this excellent film by the great Woody Allen. Let's hope this is a revelation for Allen returning him to morality film-making.
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