6.6/10
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The Last Word (2017)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 3 March 2017 (USA)
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0:31 | Trailer
Harriet is a retired businesswoman who tries to control everything around her. When she decides to write her own obituary, a young journalist takes up the task of finding out the truth resulting in a life-altering friendship.

Director:

Mark Pellington

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shirley MacLaine ... Harriet
Amanda Seyfried ... Anne
AnnJewel Lee Dixon ... Brenda (as AnnJewel Lee Majestic Dixon)
Thomas Sadoski ... Robin Sands
Philip Baker Hall ... Edward
Gedde Watanabe ... Gardener
Tom Everett Scott ... Ronald Odom
Joel Murray ... Joe Mueller
Yvette Freeman ... Housekeeper
Valeri Ross ... Wanda Byers (as Valerie Ross)
Anne Heche ... Elizabeth
Steven Culp ... Sam Sherman
Adina Porter ... Bree Wilson
Todd Louiso ... Dr. Morgan
Chloe Wepper ... Agency Receptionist
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Storyline

Harriet (Shirley MacLaine) is a successful, retired businesswoman who wants to control everything around her until the bitter end. To make sure her life story is told her way, she pays off her local newspaper to have her obituary written in advance under her watchful eye. But Anne (Amanda Seyfried), the young journalist assigned to the task, refuses to follow the script and instead insists on finding out the true facts about Harriett's life, resulting in a life-altering friendship. Written by Bleecker Street

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some stories begin at the end. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language. | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 March 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last Word See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,630, 5 March 2017

Gross USA:

$1,783,421

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,982,004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Veteran British actress Millicent Martin enjoys a quick cameo as a "Margaret Dumont". This was surely slipped in as a sly tribute to the legendary character actress Margaret Dumont by the film's star, Shirley MacLaine, who'd appeared with her in What a Way to Go! (1964). See more »

Goofs

KOXA,the radio station Harriet gets a job at, is 107.2 FM. In the U.S., FM-radio stations broadcast on odd frequencies. It would be either 107.1 or 107.3, not 107.2. See more »

Quotes

Harriet: You don't make mistakes. Mistakes make you. Mistakes make you smarter. They make you stronger, and they make you more self-reliant.
See more »

Connections

References Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Why Don't He Understand
Written by Billy Collins
Performed by Delores White
Courtesy of The Numero Group
By arrangement with Bank Robber Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Some great moments, great talent, a little predictable for much of it
14 March 2020 | by jimchevaSee all my reviews

First of all, a shout-out to Eric Koretz. This is not a film that calls attention to itself visually, but some of the cinematography is gorgeous. The film itself is generally enjoyable, and feels original enough for long stretches. Then it veers into predictability and even strains credibility at one point. The theme of a difficult or undisciplined person opening someone more conventional and reserved to a richer, more self-realized life is a pretty established one at this point and this film too often hits the marks of that sub-genre. Still, Shirley MacLaine is, well, Shirley MacLaine, even when she's playing to type, and Philip Baker Hall has a texture as an actor that makes him enveloping to watch all on his own; put them together in a scene and it doesn't get any better. Anne Heche doesn't do much here, but she does it with her usual assurance and delineation. Young AnnJewel Lee Dixon sparkles so here that it is astonishing to see she has not done more since. A number of other familiar faces are nice to see in smaller roles. (HOW does Sarah Baker, who has such an extensive list of credits and so clear a type, not have a fatter bio?) The scaffolding of the story pokes through a little overmuch sometimes, but the emotional life overall is consistent and strong. Oh, and there's one great sight gag which depends on no more than a slow pan down the speaker's face. Not a perfect film, but a film with some perfect moments.


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