The man who said "I'd rather be lucky than good" saw deeply into life. People are afraid to face how great a part of life is dependent on luck. It's scary to think so much is out of one's control.
—Woody Allen Match Point (2005)
It's a lovely, early autumn, Sunday morning. You've just gone outside to pick up the paper, and have taken an extra minute to inhale the mild, earthy air, a respite after several days of heavy rain. You wave at the neighbor walking her poodle across the street, wave at the dog, then head back inside, your paper under your arm. You set the paper on the kitchen counter, make an espresso, toast a gluten-free bagel for yourself, then go into the living room with your breakfast to eat, drink, read, and do the puzzles—once the espresso wakes you fully. You have just set everything on the coffee table, and parked on the sofa, when there is an earth-shaking thud behind the house. You run to the window which overlooks your yard, driveway, and garage, and see that the 100-year-old tree at the end of your property line, which had developed an incline in the past months, is now laying flat on the grass, uprooted. It has destroyed your fence (which you hated, and wanted replaced anyway), your basketball hoop, and brought down the electrical, television, and phone cables.
Yet, all you can think of is the neighbors' fence bordering your yard—the very expensive fence they just had built last week.
And you run out of the house, slightly crazed.
You will have to offer to rebuild it, there's no way out of that. The tree was old; the tree was leaning. You should have had an arborist check it out months ago. But you didn't.
So you make your way along the tree, toward the fence, avoiding the cables as you walk, taking a deep breath, preparing yourself for the sight of that fence smashed to bits, and stop. Not because the neighbors have just come out of their house (which they have), and not because the damage is worse than you imagined. No. You stop because you're standing beside the top of the tree, and discover that its soft branches have missed the neighbor's fence. Not by a foot, not by a half a foot.
There are moments in a match when the ball hits the top of the net, and for a split second, it can either go forward or fall back. With a little luck, it goes forward, and you win. Or maybe it doesn't, and you lose.
Of the many films that treat times like this, few are as incisive, and disturbing as Woody Allen's Match Point. \
Watch the trailer here.
Causes Barbara Froman Supports
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
Greater Chicago Food Depository
Lawyers for the Creative Arts