A shy reclusive lady is convinced by an invisible entity to sing. Subsequently, she finds herself noticed by a sleazy talent agent and her talent being showcased on-stage. She also meets a kind but nervous man who becomes her best friend.
Haskell (Sir Michael Caine) is assigned a job by his boss, the aristocratic Landon-Higgins (James Fox), to highjack a high-security van in broad daylight while it's in the shadow run (out ... See full summary »
As a Juilliard professor is interviewed by a woman and her husband for her dissertation on the history of dance in 1960s New York City, it becomes increasingly clear that there are ulterior motives to the couple's visit.
Explores adultery and jealous fantasies, the end of innocence, the moral and spiritual conflicts of a priest and a nun in love. The stories define the exploration of women and the cultural upheaval of the early 70s.
Annabelle Garrison (Dame Helen Mirren) is a Washington hostess and newspaper mogul. Though she married into her wealth and position she is also a shrewd businesswoman. Her husband ... See full summary »
Jack Dodd (Sir Michael Caine) was a London butcher who enjoyed a pint with his mates for over fifty years. When he died, he died as he lived, with a smile on his face watching a horse race on which he had bet, with borrowed money. But before he died, he had a final request, "Last Orders", that his ashes be scattered in the sea at Margate. This movie follows his mates, Ray (Bob Hoskins), Lenny (David Hemmings), and Vic (Sir Tom Courtenay), and his son Vince (Ray Winstone) as they journey to the sea with the ashes. Along the way, the threads of their lives, their loves and their disappointments are woven together in their memories of Jack and his wife Amy (Dame Helen Mirren).
At the long pier, the tide changes between shots, form being full up, to be so low that boats rest on the bottom, in only few minutes. See more »
I ought to go and see Sue. Y'know? While I'm still... before... Mind you, I haven't spoken to Sue for... I can't think how many years. You can't blame her for that though. Not really. That was more me, I think. I just stopped writing one day. Y'know how it is... things just stop. Then it seems too long to start 'em again.
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It would be hard to imagine a finer troupe of actors than those assembled for the very believable "Last Orders." An ensemble that meshes so well that I was drawn into the screen barely conscious of their real identities and filmography, the story of the long ride of a man's cremated ashes to his selected disposal site, Margate (of all places - garish, timeworn, solidly tired) is gripping.
Through flashbacks to events both recent and as far back as combat in the North African desert in World War II the story of three close friends, the wife of one and their son (and peripherally but not insignificantly their catastrophically mentally retarded daughter) reflects the daily small joys and not great setbacks of very average English people. All the characters here could well be neighbors of the folks in "The Full Monty," people whose days are locally if unspectacularly productive and whose pleasures center in daily convivial meetings at the local pub.
Jack (Michael Caine) faces death more bravely and honestly than he ever did his total rejection of his and his wife's (Helen Mirren) daughter. His disappointment at his son's refusal to join him in the butcher business has been the lot of many. An American version of this tragic rejection would have the son spurn the family business for acting or law or medicine or the Presidency. Jack's son is quite happy to sell cars. A nice touch of English class reality.
Jack's ashes make a number of detours enroute to Margate while his widow pursues her own very necessary and moving journey to personal closure and the prospect of future happiness. At each stop the relations between the four men in the borrowed Mercedes become more interwoven, detailed and - ultimately - important for each as their mission nears accomplishment.
The direction is superb as is the muted, sometimes hazy cinematography. Unfortunately, as is so often the case with even the best cast portraying non-Oxbridge types, some speech is indecipherable. Ray Winstone is the chief malefactor in the mumbles competition but his acting is convincing - a fine actor from whom much can be expected. An elderly woman leaving the theater near me remarked, "This wasn't about a Gosford Park - the film needed subtitles." Yes, we have our class consciousness on the Upper West Side too.
This is a very special film that deserves the widest distribution. It won't get it though, not here. If you can't see it in a theater, rent it when it becomes available.
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