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Genre Mystery
Year: 2006

Scoop is a classic Woody Allen movie, which was written with Scarlett Johansson in mind. Johansson worked with Allen on Match Point, and subsequently with Jackman in The Prestige. The movie is an amalgamation of Match Point, The Prestige and Woody Allen’s comedy. An American journalism student gets the scoop of a lifetime when she is given the true identity of the infamous Tarot Card Killer.

There’s suspense in all the undercover detective work as Sondra (Johansson) puts the puzzle together. Sid (Allen), her reluctant accomplice adds a touch of magic with his sideshow antics, and Joe Strombel (McShane) creates a different fantasy dynamic with his ghostly appearances. Then to cap it off Allen charges the film with his light-hearted mutterings. The movie is eclectic and chops and changes the genres with a mature sense of freedom. Sondra is wrapped up in her investigative journalism, and sways gently into romance and comedy as the mystery unravels.

This is a tongue-in-cheek detective story, which is propelled by two of Hollywood’s most talented performers. Ian McShane and Woody Allen add their experience, while Jackman and Johanssen spin the charm. Johansson is sexy, intelligent and funny in Scoop, and she demonstrates her ability to pour into different genres. Jackman plays the aristocratic nobleman straight up. He’s a gentleman and it’s difficult not to like him.

The mystery element of the story would be dark, dangerous and deranged like Match Point, if it wasn’t for the breezy comic moments. Allen weaves pockets of laughter into the lining of Scoop, and his writing is always entertaining. Scoop is a like an adaptation of a paperback detective story, with Woody Allen sensibility. The movie runs along quickly and it’s always a pleasure to see Johansson and Jackman on-screen. The ending is a little abrupt, and teases A Place In The Sun, but it’s all good. If you want pure escapism with brains… try Scoop.

The bottom line: Eclectic.

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