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Evening (2007)


Average Rating: 4.9/10
Reviews Counted: 128
Fresh: 35
Rotten: 93

Critics Consensus: Beautifully filmed, but decidedly dull, Evening is a collossal waste of a talented cast.

Average Rating: 4.8/10
Reviews Counted: 40
Fresh: 11
Rotten: 29

Critics Consensus: Beautifully filmed, but decidedly dull, Evening is a collossal waste of a talented cast.


Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 123,628


Movie Info

"Evening" is a deeply emotional film that illuminates the timeless love which binds mother and daughter--seen through the prism of one mother's life as it crests with optimism, navigates a turning point, and ebbs to its close. Overcome by the power of memory, Ann Lord reveals a long-held secret to her concerned daughters: Constance, a contented wife and mother, and Nina, a restless single woman. Both are bedside when Ann calls out for the man she loved more than any other. But who is this … More

PG-13 (for some thematic elements, sexual material, a brief accident scene and language)
Directed By:
Written By:
Michael Cunningham , Susan Minot
In Theaters:
Sep 25, 2007
Box Office:
Focus Features - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Evening

All Critics (133) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (35) | Rotten (93) | DVD (2)

The film disintegrates into an indulgent succession of intense, fawning exchanges that overwhelm Minot's thin and monotonous tale.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

Even as I admired most of the performances -- and I do stress most of them -- I found myself searching in vain for one character to care about.

July 6, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

If nothing else, Evening proves that there are such things as mistakes, by featuring two hours of bad choices and half-executed ideas.

Full Review… | June 30, 2007
AV Club
Top Critic

Evening's visual period splendour, its vivid characterizations and their comfortably clichéd relationships somehow draw us in and make us care.

Full Review… | June 29, 2007
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Though the filmmaking is uneven, Evening redeems itself in its marvelous cast, which echoes the movies' themes by showcasing two real-life mother-daughter acting duos.

Full Review… | June 29, 2007
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Evening achieves a kind of wisdom, though it's a strange and bitter wisdom. The film arrives at a pessimistic and almost nihilistic view of life as something not very important -- and then invites us to take strength and comfort in the notion.

Full Review… | June 29, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Given its stellar cast -- including Vanessa Redgrave, Meryl Streep and Glenn Close -- and source material, it's hard not to think it should be better.

Full Review… | October 23, 2009

Antiseptic bourgeois swank

Full Review… | August 27, 2009

What's the difference between slasher films and chick flicks? In slasher films they suffer less, and they die quicker. Evening, bless its banal heart, is a chick flick in all its fatuous glory.

Full Review… | February 2, 2009
Fayetteville Free Weekly

Frankly I could watch Danes, Collette, Streep, Close, Richardson, etc., as they go food shopping, which just goes to show what a bunch of great actors can do for a fairly conventional tear-jerker.

Full Review… | October 25, 2007

Strong cast is best part of tragic romantic drama.

Full Review… | October 22, 2007
Common Sense Media

The performances are oddly muted, as if the screenplay refuses to allow a fine cast full rein. But those who loved the book can be assured that it has been translated faithfully enough to the screen.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007
This is London

An old lady takes a long time to die in this po-faced literary effort as a bed-ridden Redgrave looks back to the golden summer when her young self (Danes) found love.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007

Some big names have been assembled for this old-fashioned "woman's picture" about thwarted expectations and lifelong regrets.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007

I am against the exploitation of women for sentimental screen purposes (Steel Magnolias, Crimes of the Heart). But what can you do? Here they moon and croon across a time divide.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007
Financial Times

An affected and overwrought adaptation of Susan Minot's novel about a dying woman's memories of a complicated romantic incident in her youth.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007

Evening is a film about regrets that doesn't say an awful lot, but somehow holds your attention with the scenes between Redgrave and Streep sure to bring a tear to your eye - or at least your mum's.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007
Daily Mirror [UK]

Dull. It's hard to engage with the characters, the themes are underdeveloped and the tone is flat as the waters lapping the Wittenborn beach.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007

Adapting from Susan Minot's bestseller, Hungarian director Lajos Koltai's (Fateless) pulls together a formidable cast - Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Toni Collette - but then leaves them to wade through a sickly stew.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007
Total Film

Evening is a slow burner, so slow in fact the credits roll before it ever gets going.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007

It's a very odd film that can discuss heart-blackening guilt, loveless marriage, pain and regret only to taper off into a dry-eyed ending.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007
Little White Lies

Recycling ideas and characters from 250 years of romantic literature without adding any new ones of its own, Evening is like dining with Jane Austen and Barbara Cartland and not being allowed to get down from the table.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007
Sky Movies

This multi-generational chick flick may be blessed with a stellar cast but unfortunately errs on the pretentious side.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007
Empire Magazine

Emotionally unengaging, overlong and frequently dull drama, despite the best efforts of its talented cast.

Full Review… | September 20, 2007

An astounding cast and high production values make this film worth seeing, even as turns into a girly melodrama.

Full Review… | July 28, 2007
Shadows on the Wall

Audience Reviews for Evening

On her deathbed and filled with regret, a woman recalls a brief romance with a doctor while her daughters contemplate their lives.
Though the film is slow in places, I found it profound and profoundly moving. Ultimately, it supports domestic life, but it does so by denouncing regret -- a journey that resonates with me. Ann, fading away to her death, wonders how life would have turned out if she had pursued a man with whom she had a one night stand years ago just as her daughter wonders whether to stay with the man who impregnated her; it is perhaps too convenient that these storylines so flawlessly intertwine, but as the stories unfold, I forgot about the convenience and concentrated on the theme.
There isn't an outstanding performance in the film, save possibly for Toni Collette as the uncertain daughter, but everyone is solid.
I did think that the romance between Ann and Harris should have been more passionate or more deeply connected; as it is, I wonder if a one night stand is really worth a lifetime of regret.
Overall, I enjoyed Evening, a poignant drama with timeless themes.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Such a stellar cast wasted in a tedious, boring film that is incapable of being remotely interesting or gipping.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

This kind of made me want to shake someone! Good cast, beautifully shot and acted, (with the exception of the over the top dying mother), really enjoyed it right up until the final ten minutes which just peed me right off. Great message in a movie - mother settles for second best and dies regretting it, then daughter does same (dressed up in Hollywood sentimentality). Lovely. Glad I sat through that one.

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer


this is not a necessarily bad film, but somehow, something was missing - I didn't feel in any way connected to the two daughters (Richardson and Collete), who have "issues" with one another and yet are able to come together when the script calls for it. I found much of the writing to be contrived and certainly not breaking any new ground (except for the concept voiced late in the film by Streep, playing the ageing best friend to the dying Redgrave - who states that are no mistakes in life; and that in the end what will is what will).

Many of the emotional moments seemed overwrought - as the scene between daughters where each called out the other's charactor flaws - I just felt it could have been handled much better - the scene seemed like something out of a made for TV movie - all the emotions just so pat - each sister says her piece and then they hug and reconcile - not very realistice.

The memory scenes held a bit more sway, but even with them there seemed a certain contrievance that, in spite of some nice dialog, came off flat and in one case in particular (the "next morning" where Glenn Close goes way over the top mourning her son's demise) I was wondering why the scene even existed.

The accidental meeting between Harris and the main charactor, even giving credence to creative license (as it was all just a memory anyway), seemed unnecessary and disjointed.

Streep, as usual, lit up the screen in what was little more than a cameo role, while Close was totally wasted and the aforementioned scene seemed a vehicle to get her more screen time.

Overall, the nice touches (seeing the night nurse in a ball gown) were far outweighed by some overwrought and unnecessary scenes, and an overall sense of falseness - like when the single sister finally announces to her boyfriend that she is pregnant - it should have been cathartic if played well - but it came off as staged and the emotions phony.

paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

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