Sunday, July 1, 2007

Letdown: Evening

Directed by Lajos Koltai
Released June 29, 2007

A tremendous cast of award-winning actresses comes together for a massive exercise in disappointment. I hate to use quotes from other reviews, but I happened to read an excerpt from Roger Eberts' thoughts: "There are few things more depressing than a weeper that doesn't make you weep." I wholeheartedly agree with these sentiments. He also points that such an impressive cast does not necessarily merit an impressive film, and that is true. "Evening" never quite takes off, with simultaneous occurences in the past and present, neither of which are terribly intriguing. The usually great Claire Danes stars as the young version of Ann, a strong-willed and energetic woman whose life will eventually turn into an unhappy mess, the last moments of which are lived out by an unexceptional Vanessa Redgrave. Danes seems terribly out of place, in the way that she acts and speaks, in the 1950s past, to the point that it becomes a nuisance to try to suspend disbelief enough to presume that she would have acted like that when everyone else clearly acts so differently. No one in the cast is terribly impressive, save for the always great Toni Collette and a decent enough performance from Mamie Gummer, Meryl Streep's daughter. Both Streep and Glenn Close are wasted in unmemorable bit roles. The character of Harris, played by the likeable Patrick Wilson, is beloved by every character in the film, yet there is really nothing too special about him. I felt the same way about the film.


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