Welcome to the movies at PS News.
Each week, PS News’s film critic Victor Rebikoff will highlight the latest offerings from the silver screen and share his expert commentary for our information and guidance.
Last Chance Harvey
Director: Joel Hopkins, Overture Films, Rated PG, 92 Minutes
Academy Award winners Dustin (Rain Man) Hoffman and Emma (Sense and Sensibility) Thompson, reunite after their appearance together in Stranger than Fiction, for this wonderful romantic comedy about a hopeful romance that celebrates a new beginning - for older people.
As the tagline for this film states, “It’s about first loves, last chances, and everything in between”.
Last Chance Harvey is based on a script written by relatively new English Director Joel (Jump Tomorrow) Hopkins and tells the story of a chance encounter at Heathrow airport between two lonely, single people - American Harvey Shine (Hoffman) and British airport employee, Kate Walker (Thompson), both of whom have just experienced a number of disheartening setbacks.
Harvey, a jingle writer (on the verge of losing his job if he does not return to New York), arrives in London to attend his daughter’s wedding but finds to his bitter disappointment it will be her step-father (James Brolin) giving her away at the altar.
Kate, on the other hand, is disillusioned with her overall life - constantly at the beck and call of her dependent mother who insists on contacting Kate on her mobile on a regular basis– even when she has been lined up with a ‘younger’ date, which turns out to be a humiliation in view of Kate’s 40 something age.
Hoffman and Thompson portray their realistic characters with a sense of elegance, conveying every ounce of compassion from the script and adding their own unique range of acting abilities – which is a joy to experience.
This is especially felt whenever both stars fill the screen with their particular kind of chemistry which can only be described as ‘magic’.
In reality, Last Chance Harvey was a surprise - a genuine film with the right dose of humour, a great deal of heart, excellent cinematography (especially of the London locations) and a storyline that is not too dramatic, thoroughly believable and enjoyable.
Ultimately it is the masterful acting of Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman, combined with a decent script that ensures that this film is not only entertaining to watch but is even touched by memorable moments of grace and poignancy.
VIC'S VERDICT: 4 ½ Rubber Stamps