I have made no secret that one of a handful of my favorite movies of the 21st Century is Woody Allen’s Match Point. I liked Midnight in Paris (2011) a lot. I enjoyed Cassandra’s Dream (2007), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) and To Rome with Love (2012). But, for me, 2005’s Match Point is Allen’s 21st century masterpiece. Why? Well, it’s not Allen’s usual depressed, anxious and, at times, tedious schtick. That worked fine in his early films, ala Annie Hall (1977) and Manhattan (1979) but over time, it just got overdone and overused. Also, Match Point is far from Allen’s usual comfort zone…it’s NOT set in New York and it’s not a comedy —in any way. Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) also can be seen as an Allen drama, as could Interiors (1978) and September (1987), but those still have some of Allen’s trademark nervousness (Crimes and Misdemeanors even features Allen in a role where he acts in his usual Allenesque way). Match Point does not feature any characters with serious neuroses. Yes, they are troubled but they are troubled in a calm, passionate way…not in a psychological, overly-emotional manner.
So, what do we have in Blue Jasmine, Allen’s latest film?