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Match Point

Passion, Temptation, Obsession.  

Year: 2005 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Match Point

Director: Woody Allen

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Jonathon Rhys-Meyers, Matthew Goode, Emily Mortimer

Never before has Woody Allen produced a film outside America. What is so striking about Match Point is that not only are there no neurotic Allen-esque New Yorkers but this film set in contemporary England with none of the familiar Woody Allen humour.

Chris Wilton (Jonathon Rhys-Meyers) is a former tennis pro who has to leave tennis behind when he realises that he is no longer good enough to compete. He starts teaching tennis to members of a posh London club. It is here he meets Tom and they immediately find a common ground. Chris then meets Chloe, Tom’s sister, who takes a shine to him. In a more friendly than passionate manner, Chris allows her advances. However, passion does fly when he meets Tom’s moody and provocative fiancée, Nola Rice (Johansson). So begins Nola and Chris’ affair. By the time Tom has broken up with Nola though, Chris has married Chloe and gets an easy job at his father-in-law’s firm. Chloe desperately wants a baby but has no luck and a year later Chris runs into Nola again, and they pick up their affair where they left off. As fate would have it, the wrong woman gets pregnant. What follows is Chris’ inner dilemma. He has to decide what the right thing to do is. Ending his relationship with Chloe would end his cushy lifestyle. He secretly borrows his father-in-law’s shotgun: for self-destruction or murder?

What Allen is trying to project through this spectrum of characters is the role of luck and fate in our daily lives and that luck might actually play a more prominent role than we think. One could argue that the characters in the film lack dimension; after all, Allen normally explores characters through comedy and this film is significantly humourless. However, their sketchiness coincides with Allen’s point. They react to how the story dictates, emphasising the importance of outer forces, other than inner impulses, desires and other changeable factors. Match Point is a brilliant film and a must see for any Woody Allen fan.

Victoria Galloway

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Screenings of this film:

2005/2006 Summer Term (35mm)
2005/2006 Summer Term (35mm)