Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Last Chance Harvey

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Profanity:Brief strong language
Nudity/Sex:Kiss, discussion of abortion
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, including drinking to deal with stress
Violence/Scariness:Character becomes ill and is rushed to the hospital
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:January 16, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 5, 2009

It’s wonderful to watch young people falling in love for the first time. That’s why we get to see it so often in the movies. But it is even more wonderful to see people falling in love for the last time, and that is one of the three great pleasures of this touching grown-up love story.

It’s always romantic to see first love because we can share with them — just for a moment — the belief that happily ever after means that there will never be an argument or disappointment or loss. But it is even more romantic to see older people fall in love because they know there will be all of that and they go ahead anyway. That is the story of “Last Chance Harvey,” a man who has lost his job and whose daughter asks her step-father to give her away at her wedding because she feels closer to him. Which is what gives him a chance to think about what he really wants for the rest of his life — and then he sees Kate.

Not much more happens. They walk around. They dance at the daughter’s wedding reception. They think about whether they really want to take the risk of sharing themselves knowing in a way that young people cannot what it really means. And yet in those moments, everything happens, and we know it and they know it.

The other two pleasures of the film are Dustin Hoffman as Harvey and Emma Thompson as Kate. These two actors, so perfectly at home with themselves, fearlessly give us two people who are complicated, difficult, and very, very protective of their bruised hearts. And then they let us see them bloom, not all at once, more of a two steps forward, one step back opening up of their hearts to each other. And that leaves our hearts just a little more open, too.



  • http://whatwouldtotowatch.com Christian Toto

    Was really sad this film got no love from either critics or the public. What a wonderful surprise it proved to be … and what a great point you make about older people falling in love. The stakes for Hoffman’s character couldn’t be any higher – one reason the film works as beautifully as it does.
    And holy mackarel he’s in his early 70s and looks a decade or more younger.

Previous Posts

Guest Post: Tara Sonenshine on "Calvary"
My deepest thanks to Tara Sonenshine for allowing me to publish her thoughtful comments on "Calvary," starring Brendan Gleeson as a troubled priest in a small Irish t

posted 11:19:17pm Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Trailer: Effie Gray, Starring Dakota Fanning and Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson won an Oscar for her "Sense and Sensibility" screenplay. She wrote and stars in "Effie Gray," with Dakota Fanning, the real-life story of the Victorian art critic, John Ruskin (David Suchet), and his much-younger bride, Effie Gray. Tom Sturridge plays John Millais, the artist she mar

posted 3:30:30pm Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

New MacArthur Genius Award Winners Include Alison Bechdel and Joshua Oppenheimer
It is always a treat to see the worthy awardees of the MacArthur Foundation's "genius grants." The foundations awards are unique because you cannot apply for them and there are no restrictions on the use of the money given to the recipients. The awards committee reviews the work of people making ex

posted 9:53:29am Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Happy Birthday US Constitution!
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzAJyK0ovo8[/youtube] It was on September 17, 1789 that the US Constitution was approved. The Bill of Rights was not added until later, but let's celebrate that, too. How many can you name? This will help you remember them. [youtube]https://www.youtu

posted 8:00:21am Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Trailer: Days and Nights With Katie Holmes and Allison Janney
Inspired by Chekhov's "The Seagull," this is the story of a weekend at a country house that includes a famous actress, her discontented son, and people who love the wrong people and are angry at each other -- sometimes at the same time. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEs6vXztmBM[/youtub

posted 8:00:41am Sep. 16, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.