Saturday, 11 August 2007

Evening movie

I saw the movie, Evening, last night. It's not often I go to a movie without knowing anything about it, but some friends were organising and I just turned up. My only veto was nothing scary, dark or vicious. All I knew about the movie was that it was "in the vein of the Notebook".

Very true.

Boasting a stellar cast, Evening is the story of an elderly woman, Anne (Vanessa Redgrave), attended at her deathbed by her two daughters Connie (Natasha Richardson) and Nina (Toni Collette). Connie and Nina have their own issues to deal with, while Anne meanwhile, drifting in and out of consciousness, relives an episode from her past about her first (and only) true love, Harris.

Most of the movie takes place in the past, where Anne (Claire Danes) is the bridesmaid at her friend, Lila's, wedding (which takes place in a gorgeous mansion at the edge of a cliff). There, Lila's brother Buddy (Hugh Dancy) introduces her to Harris (Patrick Wilson), who is the son of the family housekeeper. Love entanglements ensue, leading up to a tragedy.

It's not so much a love story as a "life" story. It's about how every experience in your life accumulates to make you the person you are, about how you make your own happiness, how there is no such thing as a "mistake".

The movie is beautifully shot, with some interesting "dream" sequences to represent the disintegrating state of elderly Anne's mind as she drifts in and out of lucidity. For example, the night nurse sometimes appears in a silver-sequined ball dress and offers profound advice, and fireflies whizz around the bedroom.

It's not as much of a weepy as The Notebook -- I don't think I have ever bawled as much as I did in that film -- but it is poignant and enjoyable, with excellent performances.

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