Alternate headline: Advantage Woody
Alternate headline: Don’t Call It a Comeback
With a track record over the past half-decade that includes Hollywood Ending and Anything Else, it seemed as if Woody Allen was off his game. But with Match Point, it’s clear that something has gotten through to Woody, because his latest is a real and welcome change from his lackluster product of late.
Yes, Match Point appears at first to be classic Woody, what with its opening title sequence being the same minimalist style as most every other one of his films. But we’re not in Kansas here, folks, or New York, for that matter.
There’s no Woody surrogate character, no 1920s jazz music, no unevenly aged love story, and certainly very few laughs. But what there is — potent drama revolving around marital infidelity among a group of four young adults — is good, for at least most of the movie.
I dare say that Woody should have kept the running time closer to his usual 90 minutes (most of his films are that length), but overall I enjoyed it.
If you’re a red-blooded American straight male and you don’t find yourself as taken by Scarlett Johansson as Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ character, well, then there’s something wrong with you. Rhys Meyers, for his part, makes a fine lead, though some of his actions do strain credibility (Woody’s fault, not his).
B+ for this one.