Have you seen this trailer? If you haven't seen it in a movie theater, chances are it won't have quite the same oomph. Major kudos need to go to the DreamWorks marketing team for putting together a preview that doesn't even pack its full punch until the words "From Director Woody Allen" pop-up on screen. Everything that comes before looks more like a sequel to last year's Closer than anything Allen has done, certainly in recent years. When we first heard of Match Point, we thought it was some Allen comedy dealing with tennis, just like other recent films where he casts a nebbishy substitute for himself to have an affair with some hot young starlet. That doesn't completely seem to be the case this time out, at least not based on this preview. Andrew Sarris raves about the film in the current issue of the NY Observer even though the movie doesn't come out until the end of next month, and it got a pretty enthusiastic reaction at Cannes last May with many calling it the best thing to come from Allen in years. It would be nice to forget most of Woody's last decade, and at first glance, Match Point seems to harken back to his Crimes & Misdemeanors and Husbands & Wives period.
Tonight, the New York film community does its best to welcome Allen back into its fold. The Film Society of Lincoln Center hosts "An Evening With Woody Allen" at Alice Tully Hall. Tickets range from $30-$100, and the program includes a screening of Match Point as well as a conversation between film scholar Wendy Keys and Allen . Before you get too excited, though -- the event is also sold out. However as is always the case at Film Society events, some stand-by tickets will likely be sold immediately before the event, so line-up early if you want to not just see the film but hear what Allen has to say for himself. Does anyone think there's a chance Keys will ask Allen to explain why he subjected us to Melinda and Melinda, Anything Else, Hollywood Ending and Celebrity, just to name a few? Probably not, but here's hoping Match Point lives up to its promise.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday night the Film Society holds another "Director's Dialogue," this one at the Walter Reade theater with the great David Cronenberg who's A History of Violence is one of 2005's best (and can still be found in some local theaters). Tickets are still available for this event.