By: Alex Phuong (A Toast) –
Woody Allen remains one of the greatest screenwriting directors of all time. His films use wit, comedy, and drama to create masterpieces in contemporary cinema. Allen’s filmography include the “Best Picture” winner Annie Hall (1977) and the modern romantic classic Midnight in Paris (2011). Just because Woody Allen makes ingenious comedies does not mean that he can use his vivid imagination to create motion pictures in other film genres. That is why Match Point is such a unique and special film from this brilliant director and screenwriter.
This film definitely deserved a “Best Original Screenplay” Oscar nomination because it contains one of the most interesting plots ever made into a feature film. It is thrilling, sexy, dramatic, and profound. It is not surprising that this is Woody Allen’s favorite film of his own given its compelling story. It is also his longest film (as of 2019) at 124 minutes. Match Point is also the first Woody Allen film to be shot entirely in Britain. Scarlett Johansson delivers an amazing performance as Nola Rice, and such a great on-screen presence is most likely the reason why Woody Allen collaborated with her on Scoop (2006) and Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008). Match Point might not have won any Golden Globes nor Academy Awards, but it is still one of the most original and suspenseful films ever made.
Even though this film has an original screenplay, many viewers believe that this film is similar to Theodore Dreiser’s classic novel An American Tragedy, and its subsequent film adaptation A Place in the Sun (1951). Such comments have also been used for Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine (2013), which is somewhat similar to Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire. Nevertheless, it is possible to say that Woody Allen was influenced by American authors because he is able to take stories from other writers, and create his own film masterpieces by making those stories his own. All of these are reasons why Woody Allen is such an accomplished screenwriter and director, and Match Point should not go unnoticed.
Match Point (2005) Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for every reference to Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Take a Drink: every time the film’s soundtrack plays haunting recordings
And Do Not Be Sober: whenever this film feels like a Hitchcockian thriller