‘Evening’ movie review: intriguing Claire Danes drama

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Awkwardly structured drama gives us the mildly compelling story of Ann Grant (Claire Danes), maid of honor at her wealthy Newport friend´s wedding, who becomes entangled in a kind of love triangle (love pentangle?) during a long weekend.

This is framed by the mostly uninteresting story of a dying Ann (now Vanessa Redgrave), her two daughters (Toni Collette and Natasha Richardson) and their problems, and her reminisces of that fateful wedding.

The flashback scenes pique our interest, with the social rules of this wealthy family (headed by matriarch Glenn Close) at their ‘summer mansion´, and effective, if aloof, performances by Hugh Dancy and Patrick Wilson.

This is starkly contrasted with the present-day scenes, which come off as entirely flat, telling us everything and showing us nothing; they might have made for a nice framing device, a la Titanic, but the intercutting breaks up all rhythm in the film and leaves us with a difficult viewing experience.

There are too many characters and nothing to really grab hold of, and thus this potential tearjerker never really resonates emotionally.

Meryl Streep and Glenn Close are mostly wasted in minor roles, though Streep does have a nice scene at the end.

A mild disappointment from all involved, including Hungarian director Koltai (Fateless), screenwriter Michael Cunningham (The Hours), and the all-star female cast; it remains, however, a respectable chick flick that doesn´t pander to the lowest common denominator.

Evening

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Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

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