23 January 2006

Match Point

I'm lucky enough to live in a city suburb which has a small local cinema. It's stylish, cheap, comfortable, and never crowded - so much so that waggish locals suspect that it's being used as a front to launder drugs money. I made a rare visit to catch Woody Allen's latest, Match Point. The publicity describes it as "A drama about ambition, the seduction of wealth, love, and sexual passion. Perhaps most importantly, however, the story reveals the huge part luck plays in events, refuting the comforting misconception that more of life is under our control than really is." In fact as one of the early establishment shots flags up, it's Allen's version of Crime and Punishment - the story of a young man who commits a crime, and gets away with it. In fact as many readers of Dostoyevski's novel often forget, he commits two crimes, which is neatly reflected in the film

Without doubt, it's his best for years, and in comparison with its obvious parallel Crimes and Misdemeanours it stands up reasonably well. I missed the visual composition of his earlier work; there are some klunky lines of dialogue; and both the principals look as if they've had collagen lip implants. But after an over-long introduction to the main characters, the emotional tension does rise to an intense pitch, and anyone who has either commited or contemplated adultery will feel their toes curling in their shoes. You can watch a TRAILER HERE.

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