Twenty-eight-year-old Kansas University doctoral student Omar Razaghi wins a grant to write a biography of Latin American writer Jules Gund. Omar must get through to three people who were ...
See full summary »
Set in 1930s Shanghai, where a blind American diplomat develops a curious relationship with a young Russian refugee who works odd -- and sometimes illicit -- jobs to support members of her dead husband's aristocratic family.
This fictionalized story, based on the family life of writer James Jones, is an emotionless slice-of-life story. Jones here is portrayed as Bill Willis, a former war hero and now successful... See full summary »
Twenty-eight-year-old Kansas University doctoral student Omar Razaghi wins a grant to write a biography of Latin American writer Jules Gund. Omar must get through to three people who were close to Gund; his brother, widow, and younger mistress, so he can get authorization to write the biography. Written by
Marisa_Gabriella, edited by Krystal Frauendienst
Although the story is supposed to take place in Uruguay, when Pete goes to pick up Portia back from school, she gets off an orange-and-white school bus (typical from Argentina) with the inscription "Partido de Punta Indio" on the side. Punta Indio is one of the "partidos" (counties) of Buenos Aires province, in Argentina. See more »
James Cameron's elegant, wistful novel THE CITY OF YOUR FINAL DESTINATION has been well transitioned to the screen by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and director James Ivory: in so many ways this film brings a host of fond memories of all of the films made by the members of Merchant Ivory films. It has the same sense of grace of transporting one culture into another, of examining interpersonal relationships as they are tied to etiquette and tradition and family, and the chances we take in the name of self-fulfillment and love. It is a mood piece and a delectable offering for the brain.
Omar Razaghi (Omar Metwally) is a postgraduate student and instructor at a Colorado College, living in a tenuous relationship with Deirdre (Alexandra Maria Lara), and delaying his desire to write his PhD thesis -a proposed biography of deceased novelist Jules Gund. He is unhappy with his life, frustrated that his thesis committee will not approve of his dissertation unless he has the family of Jules Gund's permission to write the biography. After a little nudge from a colleague he decides to travel to Uruguay - without Deirdre - to gain permission from the Gund family to proceed. Deirdre, hurt because Omar wants to go without her, insists that Omar travel to Uruguay: this may his only chance to step out of the life whose rut he is in and move on to higher means.
Omar journeys to Uruguay where he meets the Gund 'family' - Gund's gay brother, Adam (Anthony Hopkins) and his lover of 25 years Pete (Hiroyuki Sanada); former wife Caroline (Laura Linney); and Arden (Charlotte Gainsbourg), Gund's mistress and mother of Gund's daughter, Portia. Though greeted with hospitality it is clear that the family, as executors of Gund's estate, refuse to give Omar permission. Omar is invited to live with the Gund's until he can make arrangements to return to the US, but the visit is extended, allowing for changes to insert in the family unity as each one slowly agrees to allow Omar to write the biography. Omar has a fall, is recovered by Arden (Deirdre flies to Uruguay for support but senses the change in Omar's feelings with Arden), and during his recovery Omar awakens to what he really wants in life - love, beauty, and the freedom to express himself in all matters.
In the manner of fine story telling, there are excellent moments of passion, and comedy, and a fine dissection of family life in all its permutations. The cast is uniformly excellent, composed of such a stellar group of actors. This is a quiet adagio of a film, filled with charm, elegant cinematography by Javier Aguirresarobe, and fine music - both from the classics and from contemporary writing by Jorge Drexler. This film retains the 'Merchant Ivory': and that says enough! Grady Harp, August 10
19 of 22 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?