RARA-AVIS: Match Point

From: William Ahearn ( williamahearn@yahoo.com)
Date: 02 Mar 2008


Just saw Match Point and it has three things going for it. The first is it's really photographed well. The second is the music, and the third is that Woody Allen is nowhere to be seen.

What finally struck me about Allen -- and it's a similar response to Truffaut and especially Hitchcock
-- is that he just doesn't care about his characters, he just cares about their situations and that's why -- for the most part -- I can't become involved in his films.

Now Fellini, there's a guy who loved his characters great and small, even the con man of Il Bedone -- a film that is far more on topic than Match Point -- or Nic Ray -- who took it to sentimental extremes in They Live By Night -- another on topic film -- or Jules Dassin -- who like Fellini had the sense of the individual as an individual and Dassin is always on topic.

The most you can say about Match Point is that it's clever -- I'll make believe I didn't see the ridiculous scene with the dead victims in the kitchen and I really didn't hear that absurd dialog. But it's math and not humanity. Who cares about any of these people and Allen never gives us a reason to care. The people in Match Point are as flat and predictable as Allen's typical Upper Eastsiders. And that is why Allen is fluff. It looks like a movie but it doesn't move anything. A viewer develops more feeling for Hans Beckert -- the child killer from Fritz Lang's M -- than it does from all the characters in Match Point.

If you all want to argue about whether it's noir or not, knock yourselves out. To me it's empty implausible fluff parading naked as something it can never be: interesting or involving.


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