I originally posted this as an update to a post on Brokeback Mountain from December. The new year brought the best theatrical release I've seen in about ten years and Woody Allen's best work in about fifteen years:
Add Match Point to the list of movies I have zero reservations about. (I don't mean to imply there is absolutely nothing about these movies that could be improved, but that they are (so I say) essentially as good as any film can be.) One caveat: I'm a huge fan of Woody Allen, and reading Dostoevsky was a life-changing experience for me, so any film that is the product of Allen's full exercise of his talent and that rings insightful and ironic changes on the basic plot of Crime and Punishment is going to be up my alley. Mine is admittedly idiosyncratic, albeit very good, taste.
N.B.: One prominent reviewer whose name I can't recall, else I'd provide a link, wrote something to the effect that "you'll never see the plot twist coming." That's fatuous. The first two thirds of the movie resound with Hannah and Her Sisters, and the last third with Crimes and Misdemeanors, which is (duh) an adaptation of C&P. If you're familiar with the source material, in other words, you should be able to pinpoint the moment at which the "twist" part of the plot is set into motion, and more or less exactly how it will play out. Of course, grasping the bare essentials of the plot isn't the purpose of the exercise. Which points towards a potential constituent of greatness in art: an experience that becomes richer and deeper on the second, third, nth viewing/listening/etc.
My four word review of Match Point (undercutting the old boss by one): Tolstoyan take on C&P [if Bush gets to bend the rules of FISA, we at FW get to bend the rules of counting--ed.]. With that said, I'm hoping to see a reaction to the film and the foregoing from the actual Tom...Schmidt.