6.6/10
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Last Chance Harvey (2008)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 16 January 2009 (USA)
Trailer
2:30 | Trailer
In London for his daughter's wedding, a rumpled man finds his romantic spirits lifted by a new woman in his life.

Director:

Joel Hopkins

Writer:

Joel Hopkins
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dustin Hoffman ... Harvey Shine
Emma Thompson ... Kate Walker
Eileen Atkins ... Maggie
Kathy Baker ... Jean
Liane Balaban ... Susan
James Brolin ... Brian
Richard Schiff ... Marvin
Tim Howar Tim Howar ... Johnnie (as Timothy Howar)
Wendy Mae Brown Wendy Mae Brown ... Aggie
Bronagh Gallagher ... Oonagh
Jeremy Sheffield ... Matt
Daniel Lapaine ... Scott (as Daniel LaPaine)
Patrick Baladi ... Simon
Adam James ... Josh Hillman
Michael Landes ... Peter Turner
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Storyline

Harvey Shine (Dustin Hoffman) is in London for the weekend for his daughter Susan's (Liane Balaban's) wedding. His work in New York City preoccupies him: he writes music for ads, and he knows his boss Marvin (Richard Schiff) is pushing him aside for younger talent. With family, he's also on the sidelines - long divorced, his wife Jean (Kathy Baker) remarried, her husband Brian (James Brolin) is closer to his daughter than him. His path crosses that of Kate Walker (Dame Emma Thompson), unmarried, her life becoming that of a spinster, set up by friends on blind dates leading nowhere. After Harvey's no good terrible day, he talks to Kate at a Heathrow bar. She's not interested. Where can this conversation lead? Back at his daughter's reception, Brian rises to give a toast. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's about first loves, last chances and everything in between. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dustin Hoffman and Richard Schiff appeared in a movie and a television show about a person with autism. Hoffman was in Rain Man (1988), and Schiff was in The Good Doctor (2017). See more »

Goofs

When Kate reenters the reception hall with Harvey, her handbag disappears as they walk towards the dance floor to start dancing. See more »

Quotes

Harvey Shine: Jeanie, did you move me, my sweetheart?
Jean: No, darling.
Susan: Dad, I moved you. I thought it might be easier if you needed to get up.
Harvey Shine: Oh, sure. Okay.
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Crazy Credits

During the final credits there is one more scene added. See more »

Connections

References Peter's Friends (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Let Go
Written & Performed by Chris Rae & Frank McDonald
Courtesy of DeWolfe Music
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User Reviews

 
Nothing much but the elegance of restraint
8 February 2009 | by Chris KnippSee all my reviews

On the face of it Last Chance Harvey, helmed by the virtually unknown English director Joel Hopkins, is a mere piece of frippery, a little tale of a chance encounter in an airport between a man and woman of a certain age on the rebound from disappointment, something we've seen dozens of times. But the masterful acting of Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman, and the restraint of a script that could be maudlin or cutesy but never is, make the film not only entertaining and watchable but even touched by moments of grace.

Harvey Shine (Hoffman) is a composer of TV jingles who may be out of work. When he goes London to attend his daughter's wedding, he learns she has chosen her stepfather, Brian, to give her away. Amid these humiliations Harvey runs into Kate Walker (Thompson), who works doing surveys of passengers passing through Heathrow.

Thompson is playing an old maid saddled with a mother (the great Aileen Atkins) worried about her "situation" and also suspicious of a Polish neighbor she thinks may be a new Jack the Ripper. She calls all the time. Harvey keeps getting calls from his New York agent, but they're never encouraging. This cell phone shtick is unoriginal wallpaper. None of the developments is thought provoking or surprising. But the film avoids pushing too hard and thus gains credibility, at least in the personalities. Liane Balaban, as Susan, Harvey's daughter and the bride, has a credible restraint and sweetness. She is decent to Harvey, even as she has cooperated in his virtual exclusion from her marriage celebration. Kathy Baker plays Jean, Harvey's ex-wife, with poise and elegance.

At the center is Hoffman. He never plays for bathos. He woos Kate with delicate humor. His sense of defeat is only partial. This may be his "last chance" both to be a presence at his daughter's nuptials and to find a woman who will care about him, but though the screenplay puts him out on a limb, it doesn't coat him in desperation. He takes taxis everywhere, and stays at a nice hotel. He conveys an aura of quiet pluck. His little smiles are never forced; he's good humored. Beyond that, Hoffman has moments of stillness more beautiful than any actor's fussy line readings.

I guess you could call this a bittersweet comedy. Despite a scene that verges on the maudlin when Harvey speaks at the wedding reception, the film's skill is in the way it averts all disasters. The adeptness with which the two principals stay away from ever pushing too hard is the essence of good film acting. Last Chance Harvey may not make a deep impression but that slight memory it leaves behind is a good one. It will do to while away an afternoon. With Dustin and Emma, one is in good hands. _________________


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Last Chance Harvey See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$97,260, 28 December 2008

Gross USA:

$14,889,042

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$32,568,427
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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