Friday, 16 January 2009

Last Chance Harvey

Writer/Dir: Joel Hopkins (Jump Tomorrow)
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Eileen Atkins, Liane Balaban, Kathy Baker, James Brolin, Wendy Mae Brown
UK/USA, 2009

Seen: January 14, 2009

Reason to see: The acting looked great from the preview and I had the opportunity to see it.

Ever want to sympathize with someone and then change your mind as you realize they got themselves exactly into the situation they are in? That is where Last Chance Harvey begins with the character Harvey Shine. The tone is balanced by the lovely Emma Thompson who plays Kate Walker, a no-fuss no-muss woman who is going about her daily life throughout the film. Now all our two leads need is a chance meeting, no? It is a romance after all. The chemistry between the two has a gentle tone and gradual learning process which is a treat to see.

The film is about more than just Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson's characters but their lives and the people around them. I really enjoyed the side stories of both of their families. It's wild how aptly they captured how we can be different people depending on who we are around and what we are doing. You tend to put on a different face when chatting with your Mom verses your Ex, or even more so in a formal versus and informal situation. These nuances make the characters come alive and accessible. The characters feel real, they aren't extremists having tantrums or wallowing in sorrow. They are mostly nice people who have some awkward or lash out moments and that is something the audience can relate to.

The one thing that I have to say is I do wish they hadn't shared as much as they did in the trailer. I enjoyed the film, a lot, but you can pick up many things from the trailer. The pace doesn't lend itself to crazy dramatic diva moments or anything, but surprizes can be a good thing!

Want to hear Emma Thompson blogging about the film? Women in Hollywood delivers with this post on Emma Thompson, a first time blogger at fifty. It includes some content on the film so take that into consideration if you are spoiler sensitive.

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it as a dramatic romance

8 minutes of preshow including 2 previews: He's Just Not That Into You and The Stone of Destiny

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© Shannon Ridler, 2009

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