Saturday, June 27, 2009

Last Chance Harvey

The opening scene of Last Chance Harvey, written and directed by Joel Hopkins, provides clear insight into the personal characteristics of Harvey Shine, the lead played by Dustin Hoffman. In the opening, Shine attempts to play a song at his piano, but doesn't have the skill or the patience to finish it.

So he simply switches to a different tune; one that's more upbeat, and easier to play.

Harvey's most often taken the easy way out of the complications of life. And he's now paying the price: he is estranged from his daughter, his career is failing and he is terribly lonely.

After traveling to London to attend the wedding of his daughter, Shine begins an accidental romance with another lonely soul. Kate Walker, played by Emma Thompson, seems slightly out of step with others, and connects with Shine through her refreshingly honest perspective on life.

Last Chance Harvey is billed as a romantic movie, and I suppose that's accurate. I found it an interesting character study, however, about the awakening an elderly man who had long ago given up on a life he didn't think he could achieve. Hoffman and Thompson have great chemistry, and the dialogue is wonderful.

In summer blockbuster season, where things are exploding, time is being altered and robots are transforming on screens everywhere, it was enjoyable to lean back in the easy chair and enjoy a well written, well acted flick.

1 comment:

Hoyt said...

I know you dig Dustin Hoffman and I do, too, and I really wanted to see your take on this flick before deciding whether to watch it. And I will now. Thanks so much for sharing!