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Movie Review by Susan Hodgetts

Starring: Claire Danes, Toni Collette, Vanessa Redgrave, Patrick Wilson
Director: Lajos Koltai

Wow have you ever seen such a cast? The talent piles up on screen full to bursting, exploding in every single frame of the movie. Does this make a good movie though, and is it justified?

Ann Lord (Vanessa Redgrave) is on her deathbed and wants to make peace with her conscience, and her regrets. She speaks of her true love, Harris (Patrick Wilson), a name her daughters (Natasha Richardson and Toni Collette) have never heard her speak before. Gradually the story of a love affair with Harris unravels in flashback, involving a young Ann, her best friends Lila (Mamie Gummer) and Buddy (an impressive Hugh Dancy) on the weekend of Lila’s wedding. The present day narrative continues at the same time, intertwining with the events all those years ago.

Only Lajos Koltai’s second movie as a director (he was previously a cinematographer, before directing his first film FATELESS) EVENING is shot beautifully and Koltai proves visually an inspired choice of director. He’s done a good job with the actors too, who are all excellent, with the added bonus of very good casting. Mamie Gummer is certainly a chip off the old block, and the spitting image of her mother Meryl Streep (who plays Lila in her older incarnation) and Toni Collette seems to fit into the Redgrave dynasty effortlessly (no mean feat).

This is perfectly likeable, but somehow it just lacked that extra pizzazz that should have knocked me out. The story left me colder than it should have, and I was left unable to put my finger on why. Perhaps it was star overload.

4 out of 6 stars