An adolescent groupie (Isild Le Besco) zeroes in on her Blondie-like idol (Emmanuelle Seigner) after the singer chances to cross her orbit on a publicity tour. Gradually their lives intertwine as, with near-operatic intensity, the film delves into the emotional dependency on both sides of celebrity culture.
Isild Le Besco,
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In one scene, as Narcisco plays the piano, one shot shows his hands working upwards on the keys (left to right) while the piano music that is heard clearly moves lower and lower in tone, which could only be accomplished by playing the keys right to left. The next shot finishes the musical phrase correctly. See more »
Señora Lunchinski, forgive me for writing to you when we do not know each other. Like so many people who live on this island, I came from another country to find a new beginning. To put myself on the map. One of the forces that drew me was the extraordinary power of your late husband's music. It's a tragedy that there's never been a celebration of his work here on the island. What I'm proposing is a magnificent and unusual concert. We all have our passions, which are so intense to ...
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FOUR LAST SONGS is one of those little films that quietly turns a little comedy about seemingly incongruous situations into a finely spun series of love stories: father and daughter, man and woman, disparate brothers, lonely widows, and a village that loves its heritage. Writer/Director Francesca Joseph understands her craft and blends a well-paced story with a fine cast. The result is a heartwarming evening of entertainment.
On a small Mediterranean island (Mallorca/Balearic Islands) lives an odd group of expatriates. Larry (Stanley Tucci) is pianist from classical training who makes his living playing piano bar while he pines for the purity of classical music such as that of a deceased composer who lived on the island once wrote. His long term girlfriend Miranda (Jessica Stevenson) practices yoga and supports Larry's dreams. Sebastian (Hugh Bonneville) is a well to do, would be impresario who lives with his perpetually drunk and miscreant brother Dickie (Rhys Ifans). Larry develops a plan to have a concert of the deceased composer's music there on the island but has to contend with the composer's widow Veronica (Marisa Paredes) as well as the composer's beautiful 'muse' Helena (Emmanuelle Seigner): the two women are bitter enemies. Larry obtains Veronica's permission to stage the concert of her husband's music, has the composer's grand piano brought in by helicopter, and hires the infamous pianist Narcisco Ortega (Virgile Bramly) to perform. And while Sebastian vies for the rights to have the concert take place, the obstacles encountered are beyond his intrusion. All goes well until the surprise arrival of Larry's 'unknown daughter' from an old weekend affair arrives: Frankie (Jena Malone) has been tracking down her birth father for apparent and occult reasons. Narcisco arrives with entourage, seduces Frankie, and in an act of fatherly protection Larry injures the pianist's hands and the whole project falls apart. In a final ploy to make the concert work Helena gives Larry the composer's final songs - dedicated with love to his wife Veronica - and Larry agrees to perform the music in the small concert of his dreams, and the concert serves as a moment of healing between each of the paired and unpaired characters.
Not only are the characters well played by this very fine cast, but also the scenery of the island is exotic and romantic as captured by cinematographer Javier Salmones. The original music score by Dan Jones includes a truly lovely 'last song' and is enhanced by the fact that excerpts from Richard Strauss' "Four Last Songs" as sung by Sylvia Sass are an integral part of the soundtrack. This is a tender little story with equal amounts of sensitive humor and warmth, a film that deserves a much wider audience. Grady Harp
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