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
A complicated, turgid romance, with lots of stars.
Ann Lord is on her deathbed. The symptoms of her illness, or possibly the side effects of the drugs she is taking, include unreliable flashbacks to the '50s, and her best friend's wedding. Clever scripts use unreliable (witnesses, memories, flashbacks) to introduce twists and surprises, but this one doesn't. 'Evening' has been compared to Douglas Sirk's works, but the similarity is limited to the period and the setting amongst the rich and glossy. His powerful romances are not hobbled by having to return to the bedside every few minutes, nor are they made ridiculous with CGI moths and fireflies. They manage to tackle real issues and portray real feelings, even in unreal settings, just as grand opera does.
The large, mainly female cast includes some great names, and they all, both great and small, do their best with the thin material they have to work with. Meryl Streep has a cameo role and gets to deliver the line which might be this film's epigraph "Nothing is as important as we think it is." 'Evening' is not nearly as important as it thinks it is.
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