Along comes "Match Point", a conscious, psychological masterpiece, with very little humor and a style that openly promotes it's black, brooding story. If you had no idea who Woody Allen was, and I showed you "Curse of the Jade Scorpion", and then this movie, you would never believe that they were the written/directed by the same person. There's a complexity in the actions, a distinct understanding of each character and his/her motives, a plot that spirals out of control so precisely and unavoidably that in the end you feel sympathy for a killer, because given the exact situation, you would have no choice but to choose the same courses of action that the protagonist (Rhys-Meyers) chooses. "Match Point" achieves a level of perfection rarely, if ever equaled in film.
Oh, and Scarlett Johansson… Jesus Christ. If "Match Point" was in any time for Academy Award consideration last show, the Academy made a huge mistake (yet again) in not awarding her. Her performance is witty, seductive, and heartbreaking. I wasn't sold on Johansson before this film, but my doubt no longer exists. Scarlett is the real deal; a genuine movie star, and she flexes her acting muscles with immeasurable screen presence.
Woody Allen must be pushing eighty right about now, and it shocks me that he has the ability to make a film like this. Recent efforts have resembled a more senile "Hollywood Ending" type director. A former great with not much left in the tank. His last two efforts (especially his latest one) make me believe in Allen again. To be in your late seventies, and have great films like "Manhattan", and "Crimes and Misdemeanors" already in your repertoire, and then to come along with your best film yet… That is an achievement only Woody Allen could succeed in.