Last Chance Harvey

Big Magilla
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Postby Big Magilla » Tue May 12, 2009 2:34 pm

I dunno, I thought the daughter's telling Hoffman he wasn't going to give her away was pretty cold but then thought that maybe that wasn't something she wanted to tell him on the phone or in an e-mail besides which she probably wasn't sure he'd even show up.

The Thompson at the bar thing was perfectly understandable. The guy seemed very uncomfortable with her, like he was hanging around because he didn't know how to comfortably get out of it. When his friends joined them and he spent more time talking to them than her it was obvious to her that she was out of place for the very reason Mrs. Tee mentioned.

The guy looked young enough to be her son. On the other hand Hoffman was old enough to be her father, but that's another story.




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Postby Mister Tee » Tue May 12, 2009 1:01 pm

Damien wrote:essential wedding party news -- a family member isn't goint to be part of the wedding party -- isn't sprung on the victim until right before the wedding

This moment could have worked had we seen the daughter, in a fit of pique at being told Dad wasn't staying for the reception, lashed out with, You know, I've been thinking about it, and (Brolin) has been more like my father so why doesn't he give me away? But you're right, the way it is, it seems like she'd made the decision weeks earliier and somehow didn't think it was important to tell Dad before.

I'd also question the isolation of Emma Thompson in the early bar scene. She's left alone with a perfectly good-looking guy, then joined by some seemingly likable other folk, and she retreats unhappily for no reason made clear in the script. My wife said it was probably that she felt too old for the group, but it would have been nice if we'd had a little dialogue to make that point. It was another scene played to music and short on drama. (Besides, the age-gap between her and those young folk wasn't much greater than the one between her and Hoffman)

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Postby Damien » Tue May 12, 2009 12:16 pm

Watched it last night and like it a little less than Tee. I scarcely believed a moment of it. I didn't buy that on a wedding weekend family members would be so coldly indifferent to the father of the bride (and what is it with this film and the wretched Rachel Getting Married with essential wedding party news -- a family member isn't goint to be part of the wedding party -- isn't sprung on the victim until right before the wedding?).

There was nothing that we had seen about Thompson's character up to the point which would indicate that she would have regarded Hoffman as anything other than a creep, and a potential stalker. The "quirky" aspect of Eileen Atkins and the Pole next door falls flat and like Tee I couldn't beliece the Love Affair ripoff.

What the film has going for it is the amiability of Hoffman and Thompson and some moments in which alone-ness is convincingly conveyed. 5/10
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Postby Mister Tee » Sun May 10, 2009 2:54 pm

I land midway between Magilla and Eric on this one: I watched all the way through, but found it fairly thin gruel.

I'm not vigorously opposed to pleasant formulaic pieces -- I pretty well bought Sleepless in Seattle. But, apart from the two actors I've so long admired, I didn't think the flm had much going for it. The dramaturgy was wholly by-numbers, with every development -- firing, disappointment from daughter, rehiring, reconnection with daughter -- arriving absolutely on-schedule. The one (late) plot element I didn't anticipate was such a pale rip-off of An Affair to Remember that I about screamed out, You're kidding me! Even the Hoffman/Thompson relationship seemed to kick in way too quickly. I didn't feel a gradual thaw at all; it seemed to take her two minutes to change from irritated with to devoted to him. And the conversations where their relationship "deepened" apparently all took place during the music-over montages --a disgraceful abdication of dramatic necessity. This was the rare movie that needed far more dialogue.

Still, there is, as I said, two rock-solid actors doing their bit. If that's enough for you, my blessings.

When did Kathy Baker get so old? The shocking thing for me was, in this movie, she looked phenomenally like the control-room woman in Tootsie (the one who said "I'd like to make her a little more attractive; how far back can you pull?").

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Postby flipp525 » Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:35 am

What is your obsession with hating on Happy-Go-Lucky, Magilla? It's a little strange at this point.
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Postby Big Magilla » Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:17 am

Eric wrote:
Big Magilla wrote:This was the year's best improvised British film (not Happy-Go-Lucky) and the year's best film about a broken family coming together at a wedding (not Rachel Getting Married). It was also the year's best comedy.

Nice baiting attempt, but I turned this movie off after a couple minutes.

Which is what I wish I'd done with the two I referenced.

It does start out a bit slow and the two characters "almost" meeting several times before they actually do is somewhat contrived but Hoffman and Thompson are a joy to watch.

Hoffman's endearing klutziness brings him full circle back to The Graduate. His character could almost be Benjamin Braddock forty or fifty years on. Thompson just keeps getting better. Britain should declare her a national treasure.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

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Postby Eric » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:12 am

Big Magilla wrote:This was the year's best improvised British film (not Happy-Go-Lucky) and the year's best film about a broken family coming together at a wedding (not Rachel Getting Married). It was also the year's best comedy.

Nice baiting attempt, but I turned this movie off after a couple minutes.

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Postby Big Magilla » Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:00 am

This was the year's best improvised British film (not Happy-Go-Lucky) and the year's best film about a broken family coming together at a wedding (not Rachel Getting Married). It was also the year's best comedy.

Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson are so good together my only complaint is that they spend a great deal of the film apart. He s an aging commercial jingle writer being put out to pasture while attending his daughter's wedding in London. She's a middle-aged, mother dominated spinster with a mind of her own. Eileen Atkins is Thompson's mother with too much time on her hands. Kathy Baker is Hoffman's ex-wife and James Brolin is her second husband. They're all good, but the heart and soul of the film is the budding romance between the improbable star couple.

Hopefully it will be a bigger hit on DVD than it was in theatres.
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