The City of Your Final Destination


The City of Your Final Destination

Critics Consensus

A stellar cast can't elevate this leaden adaptation that, while just as beautiful as anything director James Ivory's made before, comes off as dusty and dry.



Total Count: 55


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,889
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Movie Info

Historically noteworthy as the first Merchant Ivory production that lacked the involvement of longtime producer Ismail Merchant (he died three years prior to this movie's release), director James Ivory's The City of Your Final Destination embodies an adaptation of Peter Cameron's 2005 novel of the same name, written for the screen by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Omar Metwally stars as Omar Razaghi, a young graduate student in the U.S. who wishes to author a biography on the late Jules Gund -- an enigmatic writer who spent his final years with his family in Uruguay, then committed suicide. Omar writes the Gund clan to request permission to pen the text, but is shocked and baffled by the family's refusal to comply. At the urging of Omar's forceful girlfriend, Dierdre (Alexandra Maria Lara), Omar books a seat about the next flight to Uruguay, visits the Gund enclave, and tries to persuade them to change their minds. Present are Gund's gay twin brother Adam (Anthony Hopkins), his widow Caroline (Laura Linney), his mistress Arden (Charlotte Gainsbourg), and his young daughter by Arden, Portia (Ambar Mallman). Omar works on the family members one by one, but runs into extreme difficulty both with Caroline -- a hateful woman bearing deep-seated resentments, who initially refuses to comply with the project at all costs -- and with Adam, who agrees to participate on the condition that Omar perform a dangerous favor in return. Meanwhile, passions begin to stir between Omar and Arden, and Dierdre decides to pay a visit. Unfortunately, The City of Your Final Destination received severely limited theatrical distribution, and failed to make much of a splash at the box office, despite favorable notices from a number of U.S. critics and Ivory's excellent track record. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The City of Your Final Destination

All Critics (55) | Top Critics (20)

Audience Reviews for The City of Your Final Destination

  • Jan 14, 2013
    Opulent visuals as usual from Ivory almost gives one to forget the slight tale of a writer who travels to Uraguay to try to save his career and, as John Lennon famously said "life happens" in the form of Charlotte Gainsbourg. Hopkins and Linney mail in their performances, but perhaps that's all that was required of them.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Aug 09, 2011
    In "The City of Your Final Destination," Omar(Omar Metwally), an untenured professor, is denied permission to write a biography of Jules Gund, a famous writer, by his survivors. Fearing the adage of 'publish or work in fast food,' his girlfriend Deirdre(Alexandra Maria Lara) eggs him on to plead his case in person and even books his flight to Uruguay. At least, Portia(Ambar Mallman), Jules' daughter by the mistress, Arden(Charlotte Gainsbourg), is kind to him when he gets there as Arden invites him to stay in the guest house while Caroline(Laura Linney), the wife, rudely ignores him. At least, Adam(Anthony Hopkins), the brother, is willing to cooperate, as long as Omar does something in return. "The City of Your Final Destination" is almost, nearly, not quite a good movie that is held together by its great international cast(Norma Aleandro shows up from time to time), especially Anthony Hopkins who again proves that his performances get better the farther he is away from Hollywood. Now, if only the movie had a beginning or an end. For example, it should have started with Omar's arrival in Uruguay. Come to think of it, the middle is not so great, either, as the story mostly meanders through a haunted landscape. It is a shame because there was potential here, especially on the contentious subject of how difficult it can be to deal with literary executors in licensing material which I have been reading a lot about recently.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 18, 2010
    Sometimes a movie is nothing special neither good nor bad just okay but contains within it a top flight performance, this is one of those films and Laura Linney's is the performance of note. She plays a woman who is icy and remote but thanks to her skill she makes her intriguing and at times very humorous. Why isn't this woman a huge star? Had she been around in the 30's and 40's she would have been right up in the forefront with Davis, Crawford and Barbara Stanwyck tearing her way through the grade A material. The rest of the picture is standard with beautiful cinematography but just an average story and the rest of the performers fail to impress.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Nov 10, 2010
    Intriguing study in various shades of control and submission, and wonderfully delicate love story, with Charlotte Gainsbourg providing its emotional center.
    hawk l Super Reviewer

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