RARA-AVIS: Re: Woody Allen's "Match Point"

From: Channing ( filmtroll@sbcglobal.net)
Date: 24 Feb 2008

I just wanted to weigh in on "Match Point" which is certainly relevant to discussions of noir.

This is a quote from Roger Ebert's 4 star review of "Match Point."

"One reason for the fascination of Woody Allen's "Match Point" is that each and every character is rotten. This is a thriller not about good versus evil, but about various species of evil engaged in a struggle for survival of the fittest -- or, as the movie makes clear, the luckiest. "I'd rather be lucky than good," Chris, the tennis pro from Ireland, tells us as the movie opens, and we see a tennis ball striking the net it is pure luck which side it falls on. Chris' own good fortune depends on just such a lucky toss of a coin."

That sounds like he's describing noir to me.

Also the movie got a 92% positive review on Rotten Tomatoes amongst the nations top critics, so it's hard to off-hand dismiss the movie as junk.

I'm not a huge fan of the movie but I admire the filmmaking craft, and I thought it was better than a lot of Woody's late output. He created a movie with a modern noir sensibility without using the standard dark and shadow contrast photography, standard criminal characters or a criminal plot.

Also, Woody has played with noir and hard-boiled conventions before with parodies like "Bullets over Broadway" which was terrific and
"Small Time Crooks" which was terrible. And he wrote and starred in the hard-boiled satire, "Play it Again Sam."

Let's just say that Woody is familiar with the genre.


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