No sooner do I kvetch about one overpraised movie (“A History of Violence,” below) than another comes along — Woody Allen’s “Match Point,” or, as I like to call it, “Woody Allen Thinks About Scarlett Johansson in That Way — Ewww.”
“Match Point’s” OK if minor, the sort of thing over which a non-auteur wouldn’t get nearly as praised. Johansson does clingy-crazy just fine, and Emily Mortimer does cutesy/unexamined-life exquisitely.
But the movie gets awfully expository toward the end (spoilers forthcoming, in this very sentence, in fact), as if Woody just got too tired to be anything but obvious — one speech by a cop investigating the murder actually goes, I believe, “I certainly would like to investigate this crime further, but to do so would require some effort and might possibly inconvenience the very people who might actually be guilty of this crime. What a quandary!”
And here’s a question someone might be able to clarify for me (contingent upon, yes, another major spoiler):
Scarlett’s character was allegedly pregnant when she was murdered. Yet there’s apparently no mention of this in her diary, though there’s other evidence damaging to prickly young Mr. Rhys-Myers. And the police don’t say anything about it when it seems an autopsy might bring it to light and further point the finger at prickly young Mr. Rhys-Myers. Which means: A) Scarlett lied to prickly young Mr. Rhys-Myers, and he cared so little he didn’t even reflect on it afterwards, or B) Woody and everyone else just forgot that plot thread and let it drop. Sloppy, sloppy.