Last Chance Harvey

The romantic comedy nowadays hasn’t really lived up to it’s full christian name and often leaves half of itself at the door.  Either you’re watching a romantic film that isn’t funny or you’re watching a funny movie without any moments of true romance.  Being a man, that isn’t this isn’t very important to me, but being  a fan of truly great movies, which sometimes can be quite romantic, I can say that I found the kind of movie in Last Chance Harvey that every single man, woman and single man and woman or otherwise affiliated person looks for when they turn on a movie.

There are several shocking moments in this film that make it truly great and each one of these moments in the hands of lesser writers always finds its way towards old familiar and obvious avenues.  One perfect moment of this film finds Harvey (Dustin Hoffman) stand up in a public areana to speak and one would think embarrass himself.  But the character of Harvey never becomes the movie character.  That is, the person who all in the audience expect or fear him to become.  Instead he remains a very real and surprising character that becomes more and more himself  in no short thanks to a performance that has not been celebrated enough.

The other note I’d like to make of the brilliance of this work is in dialogue.  This is a talking movie in the best ways that made movies like Before Sunrise and Before Sunset classics.  But some of the best words written for this film were the places where nothing was said at all.  There were many opportunities to take advantage of one of the funniest actors to spit lines, however he never says too much and he never says anything witty, just for the sake of a laugh.

Last Chance Harvey is one of the best films of 2008.  Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson deserve medals beyond Oscars for their contribution and for Joel Hopkins (writer/director) who we’re just getting to know, we can now expect great things or at least give him one last chance.DF-00827cr

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~ by fumikaelson on April 26, 2009.

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