Match Point question (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Gregory Vaughan, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. Gregory Vaughan

    Gregory Vaughan Stunt Coordinator

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    I was surprised that there wasn't a discussion thread on this. I realize that it's in limited release, but still. I saw it last night and quite liked it, but was wondering:

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    Why did the detectives never mention Nola was pregnant? Was she lying about that, or did they not perform an autopsy? btw, I find it strange that Allen would make another film that explores such similar Crime and Punishment themes as the excellent "Crimes and Misdemeanors." I liked the earlier parts of the film better, because I felt the end was covering old ground for him.
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I edited the thread title and added some space before the spoiler, because spoiler-protection doesn't work in the thread preview function, and what we're talking about is a huge giveaway.

    Now, on the subject:

    I suspect the pregnancy would have come up if Chris hadn't admitted to the affair so readily. Then it's no longer an issue; the police have all the motive they need. It's more a question of getting around Chris's alibi and the accounts of the witnesses.

    Despite the similarities, I found the film very different from Crimes and Misdemeanors. Unlike Martin Landau's character, Chris does not operate in a world that might be under the scrutiny of a higher moral authority. He isn't troubled by childhood memories of a religious upbringing. There's no character like Sam Waterston's rabbi or the philosopher about whom Woody Allen's character is making a documentary.

    Match Point is set in a wholly amoral world in which luck truly is everything. Think about the last scene in Crime and Misdemeanors, when Landau and Allen meet and talk at the wedding. It's a conversation that leaves questions in the air; no such questions dangle at the end of Match Point.

    One of the many things I enjoyed about the film was the way the English setting and characters forced Allen to stip away all of the mannerisms that have bogged down his recent films, including the throwaway comedy routines. What's left is a dark drama, beautifully shot, paced and acted. Crimes and Misdemeanors was an odd mixture of comedy and drama. Match Point is almost a film noir.

    M.
     
  3. Gregory Vaughan

    Gregory Vaughan Stunt Coordinator

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    I admit I was surprised by the complete lack of comedic elements. I didn't think that Allen would make a straightforward drama, and the tone of the film was a refreshing change.

    I still think it was odd the pregnancy wasn't mentioned. It was the catalyst that set the events in motion and I would think that the police would want to know what his feelings were about it, and what they planned to do.

    Edit: When I saw that the title had been changed I hoped that I hadn't spoiled an administrator. Then I remembered that the administrator of the forum was a New Yorker, so I knew it wasn't possible that you hadn't seen the film.
     
  4. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    [​IMG]

    Contrary to popular belief, I don't see every limited release that hits NYC, but this one had great advance word.

    M.
     
  5. Robert Ringwald

    Robert Ringwald Cinematographer

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    Saw it last night. Definitely really unexpected. I loved a lot of the stuff about the film, and there were a few parts with humor, but it was more of an uncomfortable nature.

    I found it interesting that he couldn't get Emily Mortimer pregnant at first. Part of me wondered if he was faking... [​IMG]


    My friend also pointed out, if you go back and rewatch you can see how luck plays a role in pretty much everything (obviously intentional). He had it, she didn't.
     
  6. rich_d

    rich_d Cinematographer

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    I saw the film last night.

    To my mind the finest Woody Allen film in many, many years.

    London based, I enjoyed the hommage to Hitchcock which included:

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    Dial M for Murder. Tennis player giving up the tour finds the good life and marries girl with money. Set up murder with the twist being the girlfriend rather than his wife.

    Of course, the guy making the fatal error around a murder also fits (as well as other Hitch films as well) but Allen puts in a very clever and well welcomed twist to this.

    Vertigo. Has Chris Wilton scared of heights actually taking a step up by the window a la Scottie in Midge's appartment.
     
  7. Jason Hughes

    Jason Hughes Supporting Actor

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    I think she was whack-o (OK, call me Captain Obvious). I don't think she was pregnant at all. It seemed like she never showed (with the timeline of the movie, not sure how far along she "was" when she got whacked). I think she made the whole thing up.


    Call me crazy, but I was rooting for Chris to get away with it.
     
  8. Allen Hirsch

    Allen Hirsch Supporting Actor

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    I saw this tonight. Loved the opera music and the London settings.

    The diary should have disclosed her pregnancy w/o need of an autopsy. The fact that the cops never mentioned Nola's pregnancy as a motive for her killing leads me to believe she actually wasn't pregnant - just tricking him to leave his wife. If the cops had known/believed Nola was pregnant, Chris would have been under much greater scrutiny, b/c he'd have been the prime suspect in her death.
     
  9. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    For a 2 hour film, this was an impeccably paced drama following the rise of Chris Wilton, former tennis pro turned tennis instructor, who befriends Tom Hewett, who comes from a wealthy family. Chris finds himself accepted into the Hewett family, but has an instant attraction to Tom's finance Nola, while also being romantically entangled with Tom's sister Chloe. How it all unfolds makes for entertaining viewing.

    Woody Allen is at the top of his writing and directing game as the film moves with nary a meandering step, and the momentum builds up like a big ol' boulder rumbling downhill, threatening to smash any and all things in its path. Mixing Chris's good fortune and timing with a more-than-healthy appetite for the pleasures of the flesh, the film comes to an amorally satisfying conclusion.

    I give it 3.75 stars, or a grade of A-.
     
  10. Michael_K_Sr

    Michael_K_Sr Screenwriter

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    Not much humor, but I did enjoy Brian Cox scolding his wife for her bluntness..."I think you've had a few too many G and T's" [​IMG]
     
  11. Jason Hughes

    Jason Hughes Supporting Actor

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    Hope this picks up a lot of Oscar noms (likely) and wins (not likely - that blankety-blank Cowboy movie is going to win everything). Hopefully Woody Allen will continue with quality output.
     
  12. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    I think it's the best from Woody since Everyone Says I Love You. It's probably the best screenplay of 2005.

    Almost everything in this movie works so damn well (I would have preferred the cops at the end to be less comedic). Everything was well-developed especially the affair. The pacing was just right, with things getting extremely tense in the third act. Loved the ending that goes places you never expected it to go.

    Scarlett Johansson has been receiving attention for her performance, but I thought Jon Rhys Meyers gave by far the best performance.

    In regards to whether Nola was pregnant, I think she was. It was that urgent for her to tell Chris that she called the house. The neighbor ghost mentioned how Chris killed an unborn child. And it's just more fitting of the script.



    He's made several dramas.

    ~T
     
  13. Janna S

    Janna S Second Unit

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    I have detested Woody Allen for years, mostly because of his insufferable whininess (and a little bit because of his personal choices). I haven't really liked a Woody Allen movie since Interiors . . go figure. But this one really grabbed me.

    I was impressed with the intricate balancing of images and behaviors. I appreciated the unfolding of character. I like the fact that I was rooting for the "bad guy." I liked the dislikeable aspects of the "good" girl and the understandable near-hysteria of the "bad girl." I liked the flatness of the brother and his wife, the bustling interference of the in-laws, the smug wealth of the London streets and shops and views, and the heavy weight of the country home.

    I thought the police scenes were a great mix of lots of British police precedural characters, which we in the audience can't help but be frustrated by due to our CSI-informed expectations. And I was amazed to see that all the pieces of the plot all fit together perfectly, but I never saw the end coming. Great work by all.

    I enjoyed the opera musical background, and I recognized some of the songs, but I don't know enough about any the opera stories to know what additional layers of meaning those particular choices brought to the film. Can anyone comment on this?
     
  14. Tim_Stack

    Tim_Stack Second Unit

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    I was thinking about that as well.

    Perhaps the fact that the ring was found distracted them or a check for pregnancy isn't a normal part of an autopsy? I don't know.
     
  15. Elizabeth S

    Elizabeth S Producer

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    I agree -- I HATE when people call this the "Scarlett Johansson movie". I waited a year for the movie because of Jonathan. He was terrific.
     
  16. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

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    Rich, I also thought of Vertigo in connection with Chris. Two other movie connections that popped in my head during the movie: Rules of the Game during hunting, and the unmistakable reference to the Citizen Kane breakfast scene.

    Maybe because the film did not arrive in town until this weekend, the auditorium was the fullest I've seen for an Allen picture. When the camera reveals the view of Chris and Chloe's new flat, there was a collective gasp in the audience.
     
  17. Ocean Phoenix

    Ocean Phoenix Supporting Actor

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    It's a shame how underrated this movie is. It's the best movie I've seen that was made in 2005, and deserves a lot more recognition from the Oscars than the one nomination that will definitely not lead to a win. When I saw "the twist" in this movie at the end, I was thinking "THIS is how you do a great twist that isn't done just for the sake of having a twist and enhances the story...M. Night Shymalan should take notes". [​IMG] I thought Johanssen was a little flat in this movie...maybe playing hysterical and extremely insecure was beyond her range, as she's always excelled at quieter, more understated roles.
     

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