Just when we all had assumed Woody Allen had shmeared his bagel too thinly, running through virtually every conceivable lightly comic narrative scenario involving Manhattan, neurotic Jews, and infidelity, the 70-year-old director makes a triumphant comeback with his latest release, Match Point, a film so well-received and far from his frame of reference (a film noir about British social hierarchy?), there are hopeful whispers that his long dry period could be blossoming into a late-life renaissance. And like Diane Keaton in his golden period, Allen has a new muse in his star, Scarlett Johansson. But don't get any creepy, Soon-Yi-tinged ideas. As her Match co-star Jonathan Rhys-Meyers explains in USA Today, Woody doesn't want to do her. He wants to be her:
Before anyone concludes that Johansson is just the latest in the director's cradle-robbing fixations, a notion first planted with Mariel Hemingway's precocious schoolgirl in 1979's Manhattan, Rhys-Meyers has a different theory about what Allen sees in his Match Point co-star: "If Woody was a beautiful 20-year-old girl, he'd want to be Scarlett Johansson. He's living out part of his life through her."
We hope Allen isn't too fixated on his gender-bending, time-travel fantasy. Things could get awkward on the set of Scoop, his upcoming comedy written especially for his muse, if the director insists on wearing Johansson's famous hot pink karaoke wig from Lost in Translation as he interrupts shots to consult her on MAC lipstick shades.
- The ball is in Woody's court [USA Today]