Scoop marks Woody Allen's second movie shown locally this year (the other being Match Point), both set in England and both starring his new muse Scarlett Johansson. In what is probably reel influenced by the real, Johansson was recently crowned sexiest woman alive by Esquire magazine, and you wouldn't have expected her to take on the nerdy look of Allen with those glasses and neurotic behaviour. But she did.
Transformed from Match Point's seductive femme fatale to Scoop's love struck teenager, Johansson shines as campus journalist Sondra Pransky, who actually finds herself bedding her interview subjects rather than snagging any exclusive scoops. In a twist of fate, while attending a performance by small time magician Sid "Splendini" Waterman (Woody Allen), she meets a spirit of the recently departed world renowned journalist Joe Strombel (Ian McShane), who provides her with a lead to the recent Jack-The-Ripper wannabe Tarot Card murders.
Reluctantly teaming up with Splendini as pseudo father-daughter, they try their very best to infiltrate the life of prime suspect Peter Lyman (Hugh Jackman), son of an aristocrat. Hereon, it ups the mystery factor as both Pransky and Waterman search for clues to a whodunnit, with Pransky inevitably finding herself falling in love for real with the charming, gentlemanly Lyman.
Scoop has plenty of classical comedic moments, filled with tons of witty liners, so keep your ears closely peeled to the dialogue - they come hard and fast! Woody Allen probably at his element here with his poking fun at himself. The movie is as accessible, and paced might tighter than Match Point, and it feels a lot more lighter in mood too. Even its perceived darker moments here in certain scenes don't drag, and Death in itself is made fun of too. The best scene, in my opinion, has got to be the introduction of Splendini, with Allen, Johansson and McShane all rolled into the same scene. Hugh Jackman though had a little to do as the aristocrat, probably reprising a similar role he had before in Kate and Leopold.
For some reason I've avoided Woody Allen movies in the past. But with Match Point and Scoop convincingly providing me a jolly good time, I'll likely be revisiting his older works in due course. And with that, I thank you for reading this, from the bottom of my heart, with all sincerity and all due respect, you're a credit to your race...
In one word: Fun!