Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.
Tuesday, 25 October 2016
A drama exploring the romantic past and emotional present of Ann Grant and her daughters, Constance and Nina. As Ann lays dying, she remembers, and is moved to convey to her daughters, the defining moments in her life 50 years prior, when she was a young woman. Harris is the man Ann loves in the 1950s and never forgets.
Yes, EVENING sounds like one of those nauseatingly soppy afternoon tv movies for the home audience, not suitable for us trendy folk. We avoided it at the time, but seeing it was on telly we had to look it, if only for that cast. One way - the only way? - of jazzing up a story like this is to make it look good and pile in the names, thats what they did here, as directed by Lajos Koltai.
The dying woman is Vanessa Redgrave, and also popping in are Meryl Streep, Glenn Close and the great Eileen Atkins. Add in Vanessa's daughter Natasha Richardson, plus Toni Collette and Claire Danes (as the younger Vanessa). The men, including Patrick Wilson and Hugh Dancy, barely get a look it. It all looks terrific too, Rhode Island in the 1950s .... all those seascapes.
The grand dames all get their moment with Vanessa, as the memories keep piling up and colliding with the present. It's a deliberately paced, visually gorgeous meditation on real life issues, and you can cry at it and not feel like you're being manipulated too much.