Saturday, August 05, 2006

Quick Film Review--Scoop (2006)

1. A film that manages to be both amusing and meaningless. The question after Match Point isn't whether Woody Allen is finished--clearly he can still make at least passable films. The question is does he care enough to do good work. Maybe. This was a good movie to pay $4.50 for as I did. I wouldn't want to pay much more. But there are some laughs and the end of the movie is strong. But mostly, it's a mess. It's also interesting to see Woody Allen act at this point. Since he can't play the romantic lead that he used to, he has to come up with supporting characters for himself. He does OK with his magician role here but I wouldn't call it inspired in any way. I guess what I'm saying here is that I don't know what to make of this film. I both liked it and thought it was crap.

2. Who is disappointing in Scoop is Scarlett Johansson. She is just really unconvincing as the young college reporter. It's surprising. It's not as challenging a role as Match Point or Lost in Translation. Maybe that's the problem. My friend who I saw it with suggested that the problem could be the script. Clearly this is possible. The script is uneven at best and maybe she just wasn't given the material to work with. But she's pretty mediocre. Less mediocre is Scarlett Johansson in a swimsuit.

3. People have long criticized the moral core of Woody Allen's films, usually for an amorality that is disturbing to some. This was certainly the case with Match Point and Crimes and Misdemeanors. But I found the moral core of this film far more disturbing. I don't believe that I'm giving anything away here but if you are really opposed to spoilers, stop reading now. The moral of this film is that if you are a young female reporter who is dedicated to getting at the bottom of the case, your best bet is to sleep with whoever you need to. I wonder if Helen Thomas would agree.