- Title: UK: Woody Allen's first 'British' film "Match Point" premieres in London.
- Date: 21st December 2005
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (DECEMBER 18, 2005) (REUTERS) CURZON MAYFAIR CINEMA / BILLBOARD READING 'MATCH POINT UK PREMIERE' FANS OUTSIDE THE CINEMA / LIGHTS OUTSIDE BUILDING READING 'MATCH POINT' FANS SCREAMING FOR SCARLETT JOHANSSON SCARLETT JOHANSSON ARRIVING AND SPEAKING TO REPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (English) SCARLETT JOHANSSON SAYING: "I mean, I was thrilled, I felt like my opportunity had finally arisen to work with Woody and you know, he was always kind of on my list of directors and all of a sudden I got my chance and I couldn't quite believe it actually. His women characters are so strong that to get the opportunity to play one is just amazing."
- Embargoed: 5th January 2006 12:00
- Topics: People
- Reuters ID: LVA2OR4YZJJYCM0OXKLJSHW9GSIN
- Story Text: Woody Allen is a director most associate with New York. However, Allen's new film 'Match Point' marks a departure for the director from the familiar in that is set and filmed entirely in London, United Kingdom.
And unsurprisingly, on Sunday (December 19) the internationally acclaimed director's first 'British' film premiered to much hype in London.
The only one not so hyped up was the director himself.
"It was fun to make the film, this is not my idea of a good time, to walk in the cold and promote my film, you know, I hate to go around telling people 'go see this film, it's a good film', you know, I get embarrassed doing that. I'd much rather just make the film and stay home and hope that people enjoy it enough to tell their friends to see it," the director told Reuters.
Allen's largely British cast - a part of the deal Allen signed with British financiers - were in a much more upbeat mood, praising the director and the chance to work with him.
"It was probably the most relaxed experience I've ever had. I was kind of intimidated at the start as anyone would be but Woody very very quickly put me at ease. And we made a great movie," Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, who plays lead character 'Chris' said.
Allen's two leading women, Scarlett Johansson and Emily Mortimer saw the director's notoriously strong female roles both as a blessing and responsibility.
"I mean, I was thrilled, I felt like my opportunity had finally arisen to work with Woody and you know, he was always kind of on my list of directors and all of a sudden I got my chance and I couldn't quite believe it actually. His women characters are so strong that to get the opportunity to play one is just amazing," said Scarlett Johansson.
"Yeah, it's a big sort of responsibility and you know that at some point you're going to be in a box set of Woody Allen movies and you want to be as good as you possibly can and the pressure is definitely on. But I think that means that you give your best because you want to go down well in a film by Woody Allen, you don't want to let him down," Mortimer said.
Match Point follows the life of an Irish tennis pro, torn between love and lust.
British actor Jonathan Rhys-Meyers plays Chris Wilton (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) who's used to falling short in his life. But, when he befriends Tom Hewett (Matthew Goode) and marries his sister, Chloe (Emily Mortimer), the doors are opened to the kind of money and success that Chris had once only dreamed of.
Chris should settle for happiness, but he is torn by his attraction to Tom's impossibly beautiful and sensual fiancÃ©, Nola (Scarlett Johansson). The attraction turns to an obsession that forces Chris to make a critical choice. Now everything in his life hinges on falling short againâ€¦ and whether or not his luck runs out.
Written and directed by Allen, "Match Point" is a drama about ambition and obsession, the seduction of wealth, and the often discordant relationship between love and sexual passion. The film's theme focuses on the difference between being good in life versus being lucky.
"I've been very lucky and I think luck plays a very important part in life. Much more important than people like to admit because it is kind of scary, thinking that, you know, life is out of your control so much. But it is, and I wanted to show it in a movie," the director explained.
Allen's young lead, Scarlett Johansson credited luck for going from strength to strength in her career.
"I've definitely been very lucky, I feel very lucky, I mean I have a one in a million opportunity to do a job that I love to do and get paid to do it. And I think, I tribute that to luck, absolutely, being in the right place at the right time," she said.
Luck or hard work, Allen is back to the top with 'Match Point'. The film scored four Golden Globe nominations on Tuesday (December 13), Best Drama Picture, Best Director and Screenplay for Allen and Best Supporting Actress for Johansson. 'Match Point' has also garnered positive early reviews.
How the film does in the box office will be seen late December / early January when it is released around the world.
'Match Point opens in Los Angeles and New York on December 28 and in the United Kingdom on January 6.
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