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.
The love which binds mother and daughter -- seen through the prism of one mother's life as it crests with optimism, navigates a turning point, and ebbs to its close. Overcome by the power of memory, Ann Lord reveals a long-held secret to her concerned daughters; Constance, a content wife and mother, and Nina, a restless single woman. Both are bedside when Ann calls out for the man she loved more than any other. But who is this "Harris," wonder her daughters, and what is he to our mother? While Constance and Nina try to take stock of Ann's life and their own lives, their mother is tended to by a night nurse as she journeys in her mind back to a summer weekend some fifty years before, when she was Ann Grant, a young woman who has come from New York City to be maid of honor at the high-society Newport wedding of her dearest friend from college, Lila Wittenborn. The bride-to-be is jittery, and turns to her maid of honor rather than her own mother for support. Ann stays close to her friend... Written by
This movie marks the second collaboration between Meryl Streep and Patrick Wilson. They previously appeared together in Angels in America (2003). See more »
Ann points out her star, chosen by Buddy, to Harris as one of the Seven Sisters. The Seven Sisters is the Pleiades, which (in addition to Orion, which is also mentioned) is a winter constellation and could not possibly have been in the sky during the summer, when the wedding took place. See more »
Touching, thought-provoking, and not at all painful for your significant other to watch
I caught Evening in the cinema with a lady friend. Evening is a chick flick with no apologies for being such, but I can say with some relief that it's not so infused with estrogen that it's painful for a red-blooded male to watch. Except for a single instance at the very end of the movie, I watched with interest and did not have to turn away or roll my eyes at any self-indulgent melodrama. Ladies, for their part, will absolutely love this movie.
Ann Lord is elderly, bed-ridden and spending her last few days on Earth as comfortably as possible in her own home with her two grown daughters at her side. Discomfited by the memories of her past, Ann suddenly calls out a man's name her daughters have never heard before: Harris. While both of her daughters silently contemplate the significance of their mother's strong urge to recall and redress her ill-fated affair with this mysterious man at this of all times, Ann lapses back in her head to the fateful day she met Harris - and in doing so, lost the youthful optimism for the future that we all inevitably part ways with.
Both Ann and her two daughters - one married with children, one a serial "commitophobe" - struggle with the central question of whether true love really exists, and perhaps more importantly, if true love can endure the test of time. Are we all one day fated to realize that love never lasts forever? Will we all realize that settling for the imperfect is the only realistic outcome? The subtle fact that the aged Ann is still wrestling with an answer to these questions on her deathbed is not lost on her two daughters.
The cinematography for Evening is interesting - most of the film is spent in Ann's mind as she recalls the past, and for that reason I think the film was shot as if it was all deliberately overexposed, to give everyone an ethereal glow (and thus make it very obvious that all of this is not real, but occurred in the past). Claire Danes is beautiful (appearing to be really, really tall, though just 5' 5" in reality), and is absolutely captivating in one climactic scene where her singing talents are finally put to the test.
You can't really talk trash about the cast, which leads off with Claire Danes and doesn't let up from there: Vanessa Redgrave, Patrick Wilson, Meryl Streep and Glenn Close fill out the other major and minor roles in the film.
I can't really say anything negative about this film at all, though Hugh Dancy's struggle to have his character emerge from utter one-dimensionality is in the end a total loss. Playing the spoiled, lovable drunk offspring of the obscenely rich who puts up a front of great bravado but is secretly scared stiff of never amounting to anything probably doesn't offer much in the way of character exploration - he had his orders and stuck to them.
In the end, gentlemen, your lady friend will most certainly weep, and while you'll likely not feel nearly as affected, the evening will definitely not be a waste for the time spent watching Evening. Catch it in theatres or grab it as a rental to trade off for points for when you want to be accompanied to a viewing of Die Hard 4 or the upcoming Rambo flick. It'll be your little secret that this viewing didn't really cost you much at all.
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