.

Match Point

Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Emily Mortimer, Matthew Goode, Brian Cox

Directed by Woody Allen
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3.5
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
December 1, 2005

Woody Allen's best movie in years means to trip us up: Sexual sizzle. London instead of Manhattan. Brit actors. Dark humor with a sting that leaves welts. You bet it's a change. And it looks good on the Woodman, who doesn't act in the film but writes and directs with a bristling newfound energy. True Allenphiles, however, will have no trouble recognizing the subversive themes that coursed through his 1989 groundbreaker, Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Chris Wilton, an Irish social climber played with lethal charm by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, is a former tennis pro coaching at a posh club. He finds his mark in a friendly pupil, Tom Hewett (the excellent Matthew Goode). Tom has a pretty sister, Chloe (Emily Mortimer), eager to bed Chris, and a corporate giant of a father, Alec (Brian Cox), who'd be only too happy to find room at the top of the family business for a book-loving, opera-worshipping future son-in-law. The snake in this Eden is Nola Rice (Scarlett Johansson), an American actress whose struggle to make it on the London stage is softened by enjoying the privileges that come with being Tom's plaything of a fiancee. Johansson is tart and terrific, exuding enough come-on carnality to singe the screen. Chris feels the heat. Before long they're screwing like rabbits in a field, in the rain yet.

The effect of this mesmerizing mind teaser is spellbinding. But if you think you know where it's going, think again. Allen's satiric jabs at the British upper crust — Chloe's joy in the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber is a royal put-down — soon give way to a meditation on a world where luck plays a greater role than an absent God. Will Chris kill to maintain his place in the sun? Allen evokes Dostoevsky and Dreiser, but don't expect justice from a shocker ending that manages to be devilishly clever and morally repugnant. It's been a long time since a Woody Allen film sparked juicy debate. Savor it.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Vans”

    The Pack | 2006

    Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com