Monday, March 9, 2009

Those Weird Guys (1) – Match Point

I used to mistake Match Point with another movie about tennis and love, Wimbledon, and so I never really paid attention to it. What a HUGE mistake!

Woody Allen is a guy that would most likely impress you with the word “weird”. Here we saw a portrait of the English high-end life in a Pride & Prejudice style at first, followed by a piece of love and lust scenes that you would see in almost every Hollywood movie nowadays, and guess what, we were lead to the CSI lines! Everything is 99% predictable, but just that fatal 1% uncertainty caused the literally fatal result.

The ending is good for both Chris (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and Woody. For Chris, this looks like a final compensation after he lost so many unlucky match points in the tennis court; For Woody, it successfully gives the audience a second thought about the movie after stepping out of the cinema: An obvious murder was dismissed by English police, for what? The old school English way of thinking that those high-end families are “untouchable”? The reality that right and justice are not always maintained? Or just ppl are soooo lazy? Whatever, you think about it, and one point for Woody.

I particularly like the England, or I should say, London accent of English in this movie. Compared to American, Aussie, Indian (don’t even mention Singlish), it’s elegant, it’s soft, it’s nice. And sometimes it even reminds me my nightmare in college with those “Step by Step” tapes. (For those who never need to worry about learning English as a foreign language, this is a series of listening course, and the narrators are almost all bearing heavy accent from those remote parts of England. I’m the only one among my friends who got enough patience to finish all those tapes…) And Meyers finally felt free to use his Ireland accent.

Scarlett Johansson (just found out that she got the same birthday as mine!) showed a somewhat different face here as a woman tortured to half-insane by an affair with a married man. Among a whole group of well theatre-trained English actors and actress (including Meyers), she seemed to be trying very hard to “act”. But I always think that a good actor or actress actually does not “act”, they “live” in their roles instead. Looks like Scarlett just could not fit into them, just like Nola (her role in the movie) could never fit into the English “noble” way of living.

Using operas and old songs from those old black discs is really a brilliant idea. You could never expect such things in a “normal” Hollywood blockbuster.

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