Evening - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Evening Reviews

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Super Reviewer
September 20, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
January 21, 2008
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.
Super Reviewer
½ October 7, 2008
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.
Super Reviewer
April 29, 2008
I've always loved films of discovery. In this movie, two daughters discover who their mom loved as a young woman - and develop a feeling for how significant that relationship was and still is for their mom.

This movie is frustrating however in that we watch through over two hours to find out what? Ann should have acted on her instincts earlier in her life?
Super Reviewer
½ February 22, 2008
What a strong and powerful cast. An ensemble that includes Vanessa Redgrave, Glenn Close, Meryl Streep, Toni Collette, Natasha Richarson, Claire Danes and more. This film chronicles a life of a woman from her days as a young adult dancing on the beaches of New England to now as an ill older woman. The message of enjoying your life and those around you is something that comes across strongly. This is a film worth watching.
Super Reviewer
December 26, 2007
Starts good and goes well but the last twenty minutes could have been so much better
Super Reviewer
½ October 9, 2007
Emotionally family drama of a mother who's on her deathbed, finds her mind turning to her youth. This story is full of actresses than actors, Vanessa Redgrave, Toni Collette, Natasha Richardson, Claire Danes, Glenn Close and Meryl Streep do really wonderful performances. I had some tears when I watched older Ann (Redgrave) and Lila (Streep) finally reunited after years later that made me feel happy, that was what I thought of Ann's dying wish.
Super Reviewer
½ April 21, 2007
As Roger Ebert very aptly wrote A Weepless Weeper.
Super Reviewer
½ July 28, 2009
A quiet film with a dynamite cast that reads like a Hollywood Who's Who about a woman at the end of her life reminiscing about what might have been. The film had a surreal quality to it as Ann (Vanessa Redgrave) drifted in and out of consciousness, sometimes dreaming and remembering the past, and sometimes hallucinating in the present, and sometimes interacting with the people who come and go. Two performances stand out for this viewer. Clare Danes, as the young Ann, was marvelous and re-established my belief in her beauty and talent. She is growing up good! And Toni Collette as the younger of Ann's two daughters turned in a very poignant portrayal of a woman making important decisions about her life as she watches her mother fade away. Of special note: Natasha Richardson, who was actually Redgraves' daughter, played her other daughter in what was probably their final film together. Some plot devices tended to be a little too pat, but overall a thoughtful film. And the cast! How many films can boast hiring Meryl Streep and Glenn Close for small supporting roles? Emotional without being sappy or overly sentimental.
Super Reviewer
½ April 17, 2008
[font=Century Gothic]In "Evening," Ann Lord(Vanessa Redgrave) is on her deathbed, being watched over by her two grown daughters, Constance(Natasha Richardson) and NIna(Toni Collette). Suffering from dementia, she utters a mysterious sentence about killing Buddy with the help of Harris.[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]Rewind 50 years and Ann(Claire Danes) is a singer from Greenwich Village who is attending the wedding of Lila(Mamie Gummer), a friend of hers from college, in Newport. Her brother Buddy(Hugh Dancy) disapproves feeling that she should instead marry Harris(Patrick Wilson), the son of their housekeeper, now a doctor, who is the love of her life. But to be frank, everybody loves Harris.[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]"Evening" has a great cast which is nice but the performances are inconsistent to say the least. Toni Collette is by far the best but Claire Danes is very much miscast. Lacking any kind of vision, the movie is told very conventionally with a couple of moments of imagination. It is ironic when you consider that the movie celebrates the very notion of convention. It is about characters who always manage to take the safe way out.(If I have any regrets on my deathbed, it will be for what risks I did not take. I may occasionally think about decisions I have made in the past but I felt they were the right choices at the time and I stand by them.) For men, this would mean a career. For women, marriage and children. This attitude was bad enough in the 1950's but much worse in the present day.[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]What would have been much more interesting would have been to give the movie over entirely to a stream of consciousness, having Ann look back on the many focal points in her life(not just her friend's wedding which gets old fast), confusing the past and present in the bargain.(There is some of this but simply not enough.) In the process, the present would be curtailed and this would have been a tighter and better movie.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Note: The pope is coming to town. I'm leaving town. And I will return to these pages on Monday April 28. After that, posting may be a little sporadic due to the NHL playoffs and jury duty.[/font]
Super Reviewer
June 25, 2007
All in all, it was underwhelming. The disjunct flow of scene intervals, monotonous pace while reflecting both times, and improper start, end, character introduction and building, were the film's downfall. The great cast did a brilliant job in keeping the movie alive, especially, Danes (ILU), Dancy, Richardson and Collette. Claire Danes acoustic singing is an added plus too! It had all the potential to be a great movie of reflections and decisions, although there were some good moments. The book was better, but did nothing for me either.
Super Reviewer
½ April 12, 2007
Review soon. I sobbed. Yes I'm a cry-baby and I don't care.
Super Reviewer
½ January 7, 2008
Was not as great as it had promised to be. Yes the story was nice and the acting was great, but it was missing something that spark that really makes a love story worth sitting through. You wanted to root for Claire Daines and Harris but then you felt bad for her best friend because you knew she didnt want to marry the other guy and then you felt bad for buddy-it just was a little much and not one central love story to attach yourself too. It was nice, the actresses performances are a worthy cause to view it, but only if you have 2 hours to spare.
Super Reviewer
June 29, 2007
Cool movie.
Super Reviewer
July 11, 2007
Yet another suffocatingly sappy tale of romance and regret.
Super Reviewer
October 3, 2009
A very emotional and heartwrenching movie that was filled sadness and tragedy. Not just with the dying mother, but how no one really ended up with who they really wanted or how Buddy dies...after being rejected. Besides her daughters, did anyone really end up happy? With the life they wanted? i just needed a little more happiness. But on the other hand, at least they didn't try to have a typical hollywood ending like most movies do. This movie is pretty typical of what real life would be.

But still, I needed a happy ending. Just to make up for all the sadness throughout it. The cast did a wonderful job, very well acted, very believable. And its a pretty good story too. Some of the scenes were very beautifully shot. I liked the backdrops.

However the movie kind of dragged on. I mean its a good movie, but nothing that will stick with me for years to come. Good, but kind of forgettable. Still worth a watch I guess.
Super Reviewer
½ April 16, 2008
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