Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Cinema: Last Chance Harvey - Heartfelt romance
Academy Award winners Dustin Hoffman (Rain Man) and Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility) reunite in Last Chance Harvey, a heartfelt romance that celebrates new beginnings—at any age. The film is written and directed by Joel Hopkins (Jump Tomorrow).
The supporting cast includes Dame Eileen Atkins (Cold Mountain, Gosford Park), Liane Balaban (Definitely Maybe, Happy Here and Now), James Brolin, (Traffic, Catch Me If You Can), Kathy Baker (The Jane Austen Book Club, Edward Scissorhands) and Richard Schiff (The West Wing). John de Borman (Serendipity, The Full Monty) is director of photography, with Jon Henson (The Wind In The Willows, I Could Never Be Your Woman) as production designer, Natalie Ward (Death At A Funeral, Breaking And Entering) as costume designer, and Marilyn Macdonald (The Bourne Ultimatum, The Good Shepherd) as make-up and hair designer. Producers are Tim Perell and Nicola Usborne. Jawal Nga is executive producer.
New Yorker Harvey Shine (Dustin Hoffman) is on the verge of losing his dead-end job as a jingle writer. Warned by his boss (Richard Schiff) that he has just one more chance to deliver, Harvey goes to London for a weekend to attend his daughter’s (Liane Balaban) wedding but promises to be back on Monday morning to make an important meeting – or else.
Harvey arrives in London only to learn his daughter has chosen to have her stepfather (James Brolin) walk her down the aisle. Trying to hide his devastation, Harvey leaves the wedding before the reception in hopes of getting to the airport on time, but misses the plane anyway. When he calls his boss to explain, Harvey is fired on the spot.
Drowning his sorrows at the airport bar, Harvey strikes up a conversation with Kate (Emma Thompson), a sensitive, 40-something employee of the Office of National Statistics. Kate, whose life is limited to work, the occasional humiliating blind date and endless phone calls from her smothering mother (Eileen Atkins), is touched by Harvey, who finds himself energised by her intelligence and compassion.
The growing connection between the pair inspires both as they unexpectedly transform one another’s lives.