Movie #160 2020: Match Point (2005)

Imagine me thinking that this was a movie about tennis. I mean it, I basically thought this was basically another Wimbledon (2004), except with Scarlett Johansson instead of the woman with the face I least want to see in any movie ever, Kirsten Dunst. Oh, how I was wrong.

Listen to this for a plot and then you’ll realise just how wrong I was…

A former star tennis player (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) falls in love with a budding actress (Scarlett Johansson), who also happens to be dating his brother-in-law. Predictably, things don’t pan out very well, and drastic measures are taken to hide their affair.

Doesn’t really sound like your average rom-com, does it?

For the most part, this is a masterfully made movie from well-known sexual predator, Woody Allen. Is it his best? No. But that’s hardly surprising considering the excellence of many of his other features.

Match Point isn’t exactly Scarlett Johnasson’s best performance either, but she gets into it more and more as it goes on. You can tell she began accepting roles like this during that sweet spot between Ghost World and Iron Man 2. I wouldn’t be surprised if films like this were what really helped her up her acting game.

The rest of the star-studded cast were all quite good too. It’s just personal preference, but I can’t stand looking at Johnathan Rhys Meyer’s face, which has for some reason become synonymous with “sex symbol”, especially in the UK. Luckily, his character is meant to be disliked so it wasn’t too distracting. Emily Mortimer (aka Jane Banks from Mary Poppins Returns) churns out a great performance too, which took me by surprise. That’s not to say she’s not always good, but her character was particularly boring and annoying in this film, and she did the absolute best that anyone could have in that type of role.

Coming in at 2 hours and 4 minutes, this is actually Allen’s longest movie. The content itself, whilst being a complicated tale, seems to drag itself too much into the ‘boring’ spectrum now and again, leaving me wishing that it would just end sooner rather than later.

However, if you’re looking for something quietly intense to pass the lockdown time, this might very well be for you. As I’ve said, it’s very well made, and maybe you’ll take something away from it that I failed to see.

Match Point is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video in the UK.

TQR Category Ratings:

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