Saturday, January 14, 2006

Match Point

I'm a longtime Woody Allen fan, and unfortunately I'm sure many of my existing neuroses were finely tuned by early exposure to his best movies. But of course, like most sentient creatures, I think his last few movies were terrible. I saw Match Point, his much heralded "return to form" last night, and I half-agree. My friend Jason put it best when he said that, sure, "grading on a curve" because of Allen's last several films, this one is very good. I'd give it a B-, even with the curve. It's overlong, it has the same plot skeleton as Allen's Crime and Misdemeanors, and it has three or four ridiculous moments. Still, it does benefit from the fresh London setting, and at certain moments it gathers some steam as a thriller. Plus, no one in it resembles the babbling neurotic who made Allen's early movies so brilliant and his later ones so miserable.

Reaction to it, though, probably hinges most on one's opinion of Scarlett Johansson. It's undeniable that she is -- to use a purely technical term -- super-hot, but I've yet to see any strong evidence that she can act.



Anonymous Dread Pirate said...

Personally I thought she was great in Lost in Translation and The Man Who Wasn't There.

She has big boobs.

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with dread pirate on this one. He's absolutely right.

Also, she was good in Lost in Translation.

--The Comish (sic)

6:07 PM  
Blogger Dezmond said...

She was great in 'Lost in Translation', I agree. I don't know whether it was that the character just fit her well or whether she was really stretching to make it work as well as it did, but either way, it worked. Bill Murray would not have been nearly as good had he not had her sweet character to play off of.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Dezmond said...

Oh, I've never been a big fan of Woody, even the "classics". Perhaps it is because I have not spent a lot of time in New York, so I can't appreciate his observations and characters as much as some others can.

10:37 AM  
Blogger JMW said...

She always seems to play the same mopey, heavy-voiced bore, and I do suppose that happened to work well for Lost in Translation (though I don't think I loved that movie as much as others did).

As for Woody, his earlier stuff is more about a sensibility than about New York. I think people all over the country can share it to some degree (I know Brad loves the earlier movies, for instance, and I think Wiseman does, too). Anyway, you're the one who never thought Seinfeld was funny, so yes, I guess NY-located humor is lost on you.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Dezmond said...

I wouldn't say "lost" on me, I just didn't love it as much as the rest of the human race. Now Coen Bros. ("Raising Arizona") and Chris Guest and Co. ("Spinal Tap")...that is The Funny.

12:04 PM  

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