Some times certain people fall into a secular field that suits them better than it could suit anyone else. For the sake of film making I truly believe this applies to no one better than Woody Allen. At 77 years old he shows no signs of slowing down and has done just as good of work in the last 10 years as he did in his first 10. Woody is what I would call a natural born film maker. His ability to write and tell a story on the screen is as good as it’s ever been along with remaining independent and managing to avoid the major studio engine, which allows him to maintain total control.
One of the best films he has made in this recent resurgence was 2005’s Match Point starring Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Rhys Myers along with a host of others. It was Woody’s start of multiple films outside New York and it would start a very pleasant working relationship with Johansson.
The story is one of a young man who reluctantly is thrown into a relationship and let’s all the aspects of that take over his life beyond his control. He soon begins having an affair with the former girlfriend of his current girlfriends brother. Before he knows it he is married and trying to have a child when their relationship rekindles and leads to an unwanted pregnancy and ultimately murder. When the police begin sniffing around a series of events have him on edge.
Despite Nola (Johansson) being the one he truly loves, his fear of others disappointment of his and sadness and shame that he would bring them is what wins out. His need to please and keep others happy is what ultimately drives him. All this combined leads to ultimate tragedy and the dirtiest conscience one could have.
A few things are unmistakable in any Allen film, those are the dialogue, which has a tendency to be quick and even nervous at times, not unlike Woody himself when he speaks. The other unmistakable trait in a Woody film is it’s soundtrack. Always old and very unique, Allen tends to use records from his own personal collections. And when I say “records”, I do me actual vinyl, vintage LP’s.
Woody has always had the ability to take a very simple story and make it quite compelling, being it a comedy or a intriguing thriller like Match Point. It’s a simple story of infidelity that will leave your jaw dropped on the floor. It shows his ability to write and tell stories no matter the type despite the reputation as a comedic director he can strike fear in people with a subtlety and realism.
Woody is one of the last of his kind and I fear no one will ever come close to taking his place. That said, I understand that he is a once in a generation talent but his talent is unsurpassed.