Woody Allen’s Scoop was released on DVD this week and there are two reasons why the title might not sound familiar. Firstly, the movie was released in 2006 with director Woody Allen having made eight movies since then and secondly the film is unfortunately somewhat forgettable.
What’s It About? Sondra Pronsky (Scarlett Johansson), a resourceful yet very clumsy journalism student is determined to have her name printed at the bottom of a very well-known and respectable newspaper. She has talent and connections but is lacking just one little thing: a scoop. THE scoop that will launch her career. So when a famous journalist comes back from the dead to tip her off about Peter Lyman (Hugh Jackman), the “Tarot Card Killer”, she doesn’t hesitate and goes for it scouring for evidence. In her frenzy, she employs the help of Sid Waterman (Allen), aka Splendini, a magician, and as Sondra manages to get closer to her suspect, we realise it’s perhaps a little too close.
Verdict: As a Woody Allen film it’s not one of his best, but there are some funny oddities (such as the journalist who comes back from the dead, really is literally coming back from the dead) and some well-thought out twists. But as with all Woody Allen films it’s all about the characters. Hugh Jackman is OK, he is where we expect him to be, he does what we expect him to do and the way we expect him to do it but he isn’t particularly interesting unforunately.
Sondra and Sid, however, are interesting, both individually and together. Their growing relationship is refreshing and it’s fun to watch Scarlett Johansson and Woody Allen interact on screen. He is paternal and overwhelming and she is full of energy and exasperated. Both are so clearly fond of each other that we can’t miss their affection for each other
Final Words: Like Sid, the character he plays, Woody Allen tries hard to make the audience laugh, so hard that it seems a little forced. Yet even if it’s only vaguely amusing and intriguing, the performance manages to draw a smile on most faces and it is actually nice to watch.
Scoop is out on Blu-ray and DVD now.