Match Point
Director: Woody Allen (Annie Hall, Hannah and Her Sisters, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Mighty Aphrodite)
Writer: Woody Allen
Producers: Letty Aronson, Lucy Darwin, Gareth Wiley
Starring: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer, Brian Cox
MPAA Rating:R
Running time: 124 min
read my spoiler disclaimer

     To be honest, it's been a few months since I've seen this film and never had a chance to write the review. But I wanted to get it up anyway and tell you what I remember because it will most certainly be my DVD of the week selection in April or May.

      There are those out there who don't appreciate Woody Allen films. And that's fine. In fact, I teeter somewhere on the edge of that fence as well (partly because of a personal grudge). I would encourage those people to check out Match Point. Had I seen it before the close of the year, I would've most definitely added it to my best 10 of the year list.

      "Match Point" is unlike any other film Allen has ever made. For one, he's not in it. And two, there is absolutely no humor in the story. The best way to describe the movie is deceitful. The characters are deceitful to each other, but best of all, it is deceitful to the audience. I had no idea the turns the film would make were coming. I'll be honest with you, there are no big surprise twists, there is nothing overly complicated, but I absolutely guarantee that you will not predict how the story resolves. I thought I knew, then changed my mind, then I thought I knew again, then changed my mind, then found out something completely different. Brilliant.

Remember, it's been at least 3 months since I've seen the film, so I'll do my best...

      Worth every penny as a rental (I will probably even buy it), it stars John Rhys Meyers as a young lad who has just moved to London. He gets a job at a tennis club and meets his future wife there; daughter in an extremely wealthy family. He is soon to meet another girl played by Scarlett Johannson who he falls for immediately. Of course, affairs, mixed emotions and deception are all ingredients for disaster. Without giving away plot details, let's just say things get hairy and the lengths the young man goes to in order to "fix" the situation is edge-of-your-seat-gold.

      I can't remember details, but I remember the acting was superb by all involved. The British locales were charming and beautiful, and the story was perfect. The underlying message, if I remember correctly, was that of luck. Sometimes the right time and place and set of circumstances is just what you need to get over the hump. Other times, it can be your worst nightmare. The opening sequence is the main character mentioning something along those very lines. Pay attention to what he says. The entire story revolves around it.

      Of course there may be the select few out there who will think it's a little slow and too talky. They may be right, especially with all of the set-up time involved. But that set-up time is very important in bringing you into the life of the characters and getting you to understand them. Anyway trust me, when this thing heats up, it burns. Not in an action packed sort of way, but a situational scorcher of a thriller that jumps from the frying pan and into the fire many times.

      Once this is out on DVD, I recommend putting it in your queue or heading to the video store immediately to rent it. I promise an evening of quiet intensity. Sit back on the sofa with a glass of wine and a significant other and enjoy the ride. I am no longer a casual Woody Allen film watcher; I am actually looking forward to see what he creates next.

P.S. - It still doesn't make up for Annie Hall beating the original Star Wars for best picture at the Oscars though. They will never live that down.