Match Point Woody Allen

He should have left New York City years ago. It’s hard not to express that once sacrilegious (at least, for a Woody Allen fan) thought after seeing his UK-set, "best in years” film Match Point, in which all the Allen trademarks (wryly observed social mores; sharply written, revealing dialogue) are present, dragged down by few of the recent annoying ticks. No one is an Allen stand-in here, unlike recent horrors like Jason Biggs in Anything Else, Kenneth Branaugh in Celebrity or numerous other examples. And despite having the world’s sexiest woman, Scarlett Johansson, playing a notably adult and sexually-charged role, there’s no creepy camera lingering or sleazy suggestiveness from behind the lens (which Anything Else star Christina Ricci suffered through). Instead, one gets an intelligently observed adult film that looks into the heart of adultery — and greed and insecurity and all the other baggage that accompanies money and power and beauty (and their lack). Appropriate to its British context, class issues play a greater role in Match Point than they ever did in Allen’s late ’70s Upper West Side Manhattan — protagonist Chris (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is torn between his rich fiancé and his attraction to his brother-in-law’s girlfriend (Johansson) — and it’s to the film’s betterment. In all the ways that it’s not a typical Allen film and in all the ways that it is, Match Point is a winner. Unfortunately, as seems to be his will, DVDs for Allen remain sadly bare bones; Match Point is no exception. (Dreamworks)