MATCH POINT (15)
D: Woody Allen
Dreamworks/BBC/Thema/Jada (Letty Aronson, Gareth Wiley & Lucy Darwin)
UK/US/Luxembourg 🇬🇧🇺🇸🇱🇺 2005
W: Woody Allen
DP: Remi Adefarasin
Ed: Alisa Lepselter
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (Chris Wilton), Scarlett Johansson (Nola Rice), Emily Mortimer (Chloe Hewett-Wilton), Matthew Goode (Tom Hewett), Brian Cox (Alec Hewett), Penelope Wilton (Eleanor Hewett)
Personal life aside, Woody Allen is a filmmaker whose works I find incredibly divisive. There are some (Annie Hall, Bullets Over Broadway) which I find incredibly good and others (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) which I really don't care for at all. On top of that, many of his films are very self-indulgent (Midnight In Paris, a prime example).
In comparison, Match Point doesn't feel like a Woody Allen film at all, and for me, is the best work he'd done in over a decade.
The story follows Chris, a former tennis pro as he has an affair with his best friend's girlfriend, Nola, soon after marrying the same friend's sister, Chloe, but the extra-marital affair becomes increasingly risky, especially when Nola becomes pregnant.
It was the first film Allen ever shot entirely in England, and the change of scenery from his beloved Manhattan seems to make a lot of difference, giving the film a gritty quality, especially in the last act that feels more like a crime drama that Scorsese might make.
The ensemble cast are all excellent, particularly Scarlett Johansson.
It's also worth noting that it's one of the few Woody Allen movies that actually turned a profit, since the vast majority of his movies, despite being critically lauded, often fail to return on their budgets.
Easily his best work since Bullets Over Broadway, and the last film of his I personally enjoyed watching until 2013's Blue Jasmine. One minor irritant is that there's no actual tennis action in it, but I guess we can't have everything.