Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Eileen Atkins, Barry Bostwick, Glenn Close, Toni Collette, Vanessa Redgrave
Director: Lajos Koltai
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
A star-studded cast brings richness and texture to Evening, a lyrical tale of regret, unrequited love, and hope, written by novelists Susan Minot (Rapture) and Michael Cunningham (The Hours), based on Minot's book. Ann (Va... more »
Nostalgia and Reverie - A Cinematic Mood Piece
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Criticism of the film EVENING, based on the novel by Susan Minot and adapted for the screen by Minot and Michael Cunningham, has been harsh, so harsh that it may have discouraged many viewers from giving the film a try. The primary criticism has centered on the fact that very little happens in this film about a dying woman's fretting over a mistake she made one summer in her youth, that famous actors were given very minor roles, that the entire production was over-hyped, etc. For this viewer, seeing the film on a DVD in the quiet of the home, a very different reaction occurred.
Ann Grant Lord (Vanessa Redgrave) is dying in her home by the ocean and her medication and memories allow her to share a man's name - 'Harris' - with her two grown daughters Nina (Toni Colette) and Constance (Natasha Richardson). As her daughters sit at her bedside Ann relives a particular summer when she was a bridesmaid for her best friend Lila (Mamie Gummer) - a marriage both Ann (Claire Danes as the youthful Ann) and Lila's alcoholic brother Buddy (Hugh Dancy) objected to, feeling that Lila was simply marrying a man of her class instead of the boy she had loved - Harris Arden (Patrick Wilson), her housekeeper's son who had become a physician. Harris, Buddy, Lila, and Ann are woven together in a series of infatuations and romances that have been kept secret until now, 50 years later, as Ann is dying. The older Lila (Meryl Streep) visits Ann at the end and the secrets are revealed: 'there are no such things as mistakes - life just goes on.'
The film is a delicate mood piece and the script by Minot and Cunningham is rich in atmosphere and subtle life lessons. Yes, there are gaps in the story that could have used more explanation, but in order to maintain the aura of nostalgia of a dying lady's words, such 'holes' are understandable. The film is graced by the presence of not only Redgrave, Richardson (Redgrave's true daughter), Collette, Gummer (Streep's true daughter), Meryl Streep, Claire Danes, Eileen Atkins, Glenn Close, Hugh Dancy and Patrick Wilson, but also with an ensemble cast of brief but very solid performances. The setting is gorgeous (cinematography by Gyula Pados) and the musical score is by the inimitable Jan A.P. Kaczmarek. Lajos Koltai ("Being Julia') directs. Judge this film on your own.... Grady Harp, September 07
An Evening of Magnetic Movie...
S. Ilkay | California, United States | 09/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Evening: A star-studded film from the director Lajos Koltai; a poetic master piece with Vanessa Redgrave, Glenn Close and Meryl Streep in towering roles. It tells the story of friendships, doomed relationships and secret loves that end with broken hearts. The story is being told like a water color painting set in 1950s upper class East Coast America."
Superb performances alone simply cannot rescue EVENING from
KerrLines | Baltimore,MD | 07/01/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This will undoubtedly be the toughest review that I have ever written. I went into this film with the highest of expectations. I was not disappointed with any of the acting as it is uniformly superb (surprisingly most from Hugh Dancy in a "Greek Chorus" commentary performance that I found truly touching!).Oscar nods for acting would not surprise me in the least for a number of these fine professionals! I was charmed and lulled with Jan A.P. Kaczmerak's hauntingly poignant original soundtrack. The camera shots are beautiful. The set design and costumes are appropriately period.I will probably remember much of what I saw and mull it over in the coming years.I truly wanted to be bowled over by this film, but I left the theatre feeling flat, confused and unfulfilled. The shifting back and forth between the time frames was not at all a problem (I was already comfortable with THE HOURS and THE NOTEBOOK and YA-YA) so that wasn't it.
My conclusion was that the screenplay just simply didn't come together in a way that made me feel or identify with the characters. I felt that the entire film left loose ends dangling and that each character was not developed enough for me to feel as though I knew and understood their longings, fears, motivations and angst.There are so many unanswered questions in this screenplay that seemed to never have any explanation or resolution. (There is one glaring continuity error concerning Buddy and Anne's College days that those of us who saw it questioned how the script supervisor could have missed it!) The movie seemed to try to be deeper than it really was, and that much ado was made about nothing. If this film is about life's regrets and missed chances, mother-daughter relationships, women's limited choices in the 1950's and the folly and "caste" system of the New England wealthy then I have definitely seen all of that done better and far more effectively elsewhere.
My closing remark is WHY WOULD ANYONE HAVE OBSESSED OVER HARRIS ARDEN???? The character was so underdeveloped that apart from being a good looking Patrick Wilson, WHAT WAS THIS CHARACTER'S ALLURE?
I really feel bad that 3 1/2 stars is the best I can do for EVENING. This movie, adapted from Susan Minot's novel,seems to me one of the film industry's best missed chances that perhaps they will regret as a mistake."
Spend An Evening With These Fine Actresses
S. Keel | Los Angeles, CA | 06/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Caught a special screening of the film and I was just blown away by the performances. It's one thing to know that these actresses are in the film but to then see them together on the screen is a joy.
If you're a fan of The Notebook you'll love this film. It's a sweeping romance that takes place against a beautiful backdrop of the New England cliffside. The cinematography takes full advantage of the location.
Claire Danes has come to visit her good friend on her wedding weekend and she gets swept up in a romance with Harris, played by Patrick Wilson. Too bad for Hugh Dancy's character, cause he's got some issues.
This is all happening in flashback as Claire Danes' character, now played by Vanessa Redgrave, recounts the tale to her grown daughters.
The performances are top notch. Meryl Streep shows up later in the film but I don't want to spoil it. I cried at least five times throughout the film and I can't wait to see it again.