Match Point

January 20th, 2006

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Match Point

Still of Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Match PointStill of Scarlett Johansson in Match PointJeff Daniels at event of Match PointStill of Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Scarlett Johansson in Match PointStill of Ewen Bremner and James Nesbitt in Match PointStill of Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Matthew Goode and Scarlett Johansson in Match Point

At a turning point in his life, a former tennis pro falls for a femme-fatal type who happens to be dating his friend and soon-to-be brother-in-law.

Release Year: 2005

Rating: 7.8/10 (88,078 voted)

Critic's Score: 72/100

Director: Woody Allen

Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Emily Mortimer

Chris Wilton is a former tennis pro, looking to find work as an instructor. He meets Tom Hewett, a well-off pretty boy. Tom's sister Chloe falls in love with Chris but Chris has his eyes on Tom's fiancée, the luscious Nola. Both Chris and Nola know it's wrong but what could be more right than love? Chris tries to juggle both women but at some point, he must choose between them...

Jonathan Rhys Meyers - Chris Wilton
Alexander Armstrong - Mr. Townsend
Paul Kaye - Estate Agent
Matthew Goode - Tom Hewett
Brian Cox - Alec Hewett
Penelope Wilton - Eleanor Hewett
Emily Mortimer - Chloe Hewett Wilton
Janis Kelly - 'La Traviata' Performer
Alan Oke - 'La Traviata' Performer
Mark Gatiss - Ping-Pong Player
Scarlett Johansson - Nola Rice
Philip Mansfield - Waiter
Simon Kunz - Rod Carver
Geoffrey Streatfield - Alan Sinclair (as Geoffrey Streatfeild)
Mary Hegarty - 'Rigoletto' Performer

Taglines: Passion Temptation Obsession


Official Website: DreamWorks [United States] | Official site [Germany] |

Release Date: 20 January 2006

Filming Locations: Belgravia, London, England, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: $15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: €824,291 (Spain) (6 November 2005) (149 Screens)

Gross: $23,089,926 (USA) (19 March 2006)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Turkey: (TV version)  | Finland: (theatrical version)

Did You Know?

The musical they see midway through the movie is Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Woman In White".

Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When Chris and Mr. Hewett are in the gun shack at Hedley, Tom walks in late, and Mr. Hewett accidentally calls him Chris.

[first lines]
Christopher "Chris" Wilton: The man who said "I'd rather be lucky than good" saw deeply into life. People are afraid to face how great a part of life is dependent on luck. It's scary to think so much is out of one's control. There are moments in a match when the ball hits the top of the net, and for a split second, it can either go forward or fall back. With a little luck, it goes forward, and you win. Or maybe it doesn't, and you lose.

User Review

Clever, polished, stunner with a lot to say about morality and fidelity

Rating: 9/10

Match Point just joined Brokeback Mountain and Cinderella Man in the top three films for me this year. Like Brokeback Mountain, however, it is almost impossible to write a reasonably intelligent review without writing a spoiler.

I have been a hot and cold Woody Allen watcher, but was only a fan during his comedic phase. So, despite hearing from a few reliable sources that this is Woody's masterpiece, I was skeptical and went in with few expectations. I am glad. Approaching the movie this way allowed it to creep up on me.

The NYC Jewish dialog is gone. The quirky sense of humor is nowhere to be found. the hypersensitivity is missing. Where's Woody? Well, he's in London, but the place and time, despite the opinions of some critics, are largely irrelevant in this film.

There is only one line in this film that indicates its origin - it has something to do with 'intertwined neuroses' and nearly made me laugh.

The first 3/4ths of this film is almost completely taken up with character development, but also contains all of the basics of the inexorable plot that truly unfolds near the end. The characters are all quite likable, and, if you're like me, you will yearn for a happy ending. Watch out! - you've just been hooked and Woody's about to reel you in!

Match Point draws its audience in quietly and slowly at first, defining its territory as a smart, hip, and sophisticated character study early on (in no way unexpected for Mr. Allen), but then it takes an irreversibly sinister turn as one man threatens to bring everybody we have grown to love and respect down with him.

The performances and cinematography in this film are all-around the best I've seen this year. Allen uses a lot of very close-in face shots, and his cast handles it with ease, performing their parts with accuracy and no lack of passion. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Emily Mortimer, and Scarlett Johanssen are all excellent, and the rest of the cast lends excellent support. I found no fault in the pace or the plot - this is easily Woody's most plot-heavy film, and you can tell that he had a great time putting it together.

The story line of Match Point is powerful, disturbing, and exceedingly clever. Philosophical folks will likely want to talk about it afterward. Some will find it frustrating and others will find it pretentious. Still others will point to Woody's own life and claim that this film is some form of perverse confession. Well, from my perspective, it is simply damn good story-telling.

Highly recommended for adult audiences.

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