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Evening (2007, Lajos Koltai)

What's it about? A dying woman (Vanessa Redgrave) remembers a time in her life when she was young and carefree and full of hopes for the future that were crushed when a complicated love triangle took a tragic turn.

Who's in it? Claire Danes, Toni Collette, Vanessa Redgrave, Patrick Wilson, Hugh Dancy, Natasha Richardson, Mamie Gummer, Eileen Atkins, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close.

Why did you watch it? Someone mentioned a kiss between Patrick Wilson and Hugh Dancy.

Why is it worth watching? It's a somber portrayal of a life's end from both sides - the perspective of the dying person, with all the memories and the regrets and the drifting in and out of reality, as well as the one of the loved ones that get left behind: the mourning, the pain, the sadness, the unanswered questions and unaddressed doubts. In a tragic, very sad way, there's an air of nostalgia and calmness around it that's beautiful, and it's certainly beautifully filmed.
The acting is as excellent as one expects from the all-star cast, with Toni Collette (as the protagonist's daughter), Vanessa Redgrave and Hugh Dancy (staring as the best friend of Ann when she was young) standing out.

On the other hand... It's depressing. Really depressing. The message I got at the was basically, "don't expect too much from life because it none of your expectations will be met, it just sucks and then you die wondering where it all went wrong" - which, I'm sure, isn't the message the movie intends to send out. But nevertheless, that's how it comes across.
Worse even, while the tragic unfulfilled story of Ann and Harris initially worked for me, in hindsight it seems not quite understandable just why it turned out tragic and unfulfilled because the movie never really touched on what exactly went wrong between them. They might have well been left clinging to each other after buddy died, but apparently that's not what happened - except we've never been shown those scenes, or the reasons.
Likewise, the gay subplot / the love triangle part isn't explored as much as it could and should have been.

The final verdict: 7/10


I love movies, and I watch quite a lot of them in my free time. In this journal, you'll find my thoughts on movies I've recently seen - both new releases and older films.

Those aren't supposed to be actual journalistic reviews, just some personal, sometimes terribly subjective comments.

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