A drama exploring the romantic past and emotional present of Ann Lord (Vanessa Redgrave) and her daughters, Constance Haverford (Natasha Richardson) and Nina Mars (Toni Collette). As Ann lays dying, she remembers, and is moved to convey to her daughters, the defining moments in her life fifty years ago, when she was a young woman. Harris Arden (Patrick Wilson) is the man Ann loves in the 1950s ...
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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 (Vanessa Redgrave) reveals a long-held secret to her concerned daughters; Constance Haverford (Natasha Richardson), a content wife and mother, and Nina Mars (Toni Collette), 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 (Dame Eileen Atkins) as she journeys in her mind back to a summer weekend around fifty years before, when she was Ann Grant (Claire Danes), 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 (Mamie Gummer). The ...Written by
According to The Hollywood Reporter (September 14, 2006): "Director Jonathan Caouette (Tarnation (2003)) had been in preliminary discussions to direct, and Oscar-winning actress Ellen Burstyn was discussed for the lead role, but those deals never developed." 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 »
[Buddy comes up the cliff with his bottle of wine and takes a mouthful of it]
It's kind of salty.
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This is not a profound movie; most of the plot aspects are pretty predictable and "tried and true" but it was well-acted and made some interesting points about what we might regret (our "mistakes" as the movie calls them) as we look back over our lives. I had not read the book, so didn't know much other than it was the story of a dying woman who has strong memories from long ago that she hasn't really shared with anyone. Thankfully they got a top-notch cast....Meryl
Streep's daughter, Mamie Gummer, plays the young Lila, and then Meryl shows up at the end of the film as the old Lila...in addition to an amazing resemblance (duh!) the younger actress did a great job (perhaps not quite up to her mom's caliber, but who is?) All others in this film were fine, although I wish there had been more of Glen Close and thought the Buddy character was alittle too dramatic.
This is more of a girls' movie than for the guys, but a good one to see with your mom, or your daughter, and maybe start some dialog going. How hard it is to really know a parent as a "person"!
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