Last Chance Harvey

Directed By: Joel Hopkins Starring: Dustin Hoffman Emma Thompson

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AVERAGE RATING
4 out of 5
5
1
4
1
3
0
2
0
1
0
Total Reviews
2
4.5
Overall Satisfaction
4.5
Value
4
Ease of Use
5
Performance

Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson made an average story into one of most enjoyable movies I have seen in years. They portray thier roles as if it was them that the story was about. No need for special effects here, the actors were all that was needed.

-Lewis Baskind quote

WHAT A GREAT MOVIE!

by Lewis Baskind on 5/15/2009

Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson made an average story into one of most enjoyable movies I have seen in years. They portray thier roles as if it was them that the story was about. No need for special effects here, the actors were all that was needed. Read More

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Soft but likable movie

by Trent Thorpe on 7/23/2009

Many people have said that this movie was too soft. A divorced American composer Harvey Shine (played by Hoffman) arrives in London for his daughter’s wedding to discover her stepfather is giving her away. He meets Kate Walker (played by Emma Thompson) and they talk a lot. I for one enjoyed this movie, primarily because of the performances. Dustin Hoffman should get a role that he can chew up and spit out, like the ones that made him a star (I recently saw Midnight Cowboy and the Graduate). Joel Hopkins wrote and directed with an understanding of the style and pacing of a movie of this kind. Read More

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Product Overview

In london for his daughter's wedding, a rumpled man finds his romantic sights lifted by a new woman in his life.

Specifications

Studio Starz/sphe
SKU 210809767
UPC 013138001696
UPC 14 00013138001696
Format DVD
Release Date 2/27/2009
Rating Rating
Keywords
Family Interaction
London, England
Love
Parents
Romance
Romances
Theatrical Release
Weddings
Editors Note
Note Set in London, this romantic comedy stars Dustin Hoffman as Harvey Shine, a divorced and haggard jingle-writer quickly aging out of his career and workaholic ways. With a warning from his boss (Richard Schiff) to not bother rushing back, Harvey goes to London, begrudgingly, for his daughter's wedding, fielding that work calls the whole time he's there. When Harvey greets his estranged daughter, Susie (Liane Balaban), it becomes clear just how far away he's grown from his family. The film never spells out in exactly what ways Harvey was a bad father, but it is clear he missed the boat when Susie asks her stepfather (James Brolin) to give her away. As Harvey leaves his heartbreak at the ceremony for an emergency work call, he misses his flight and gets fired. While nursing a whiskey at the airport bar, Harvey bumps into Kate (Emma Thompson), an airport employee escaping her own bad day with a glass of wine and a book. Suddenly taken by Kate's British charm, a tipsy Harvey bombards her with tales of his trouble. This unlikely trading of sob stories leads to lunch, a walk around London, and a day of unexpected romance. ^Thompson is charming as Kate, a lonely middle-age woman struggling to deal with her mother's constant prying into her life. Despite not having had the best of luck in romance, Kate is an optimist at heart, and it's this spark for life that attracts Harvey and ultimately helps repair his image in his daughter's eyes. Never showy or too ambitious, Joel Hopkins's slow-paced romance twists old clichés to suit a more adult audience. While not groundbreaking in its plot, LAST CHANCE HARVEY is saved by great performances from the always-solid Hoffman and the incredibly charming Thompson, who makes an otherwise familiar story feel fresh.
Reviews
USA Today 3 stars out of 4 -- "The film's biggest asset is the pitch-perfect performances of the two stars....It takes two consummate actors to make quickly escalating chemistry feel so natural." 12/24/2008
Los Angeles Times "[A] small and surprisingly hopeful film, with beautifully attenuated performances by Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, who slip into the characters Hopkins has sewn for them like an old sweater." 12/25/2008
Box Office 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] Dustin Hoffman- and Emma Thompson-toplined battered romance about growing old and dealing with the life we've made for ourselves." 01/01/2009 p.48
Rolling Stone 3 stars out of 4 -- "[A]cting this richly funny and touching is too good to resist....Hoffman and Thompson work the necessary magic. It's the pleasure of their company that makes this an affair to remember." 01/22/2009
Entertainment Weekly "Hoffman and Thompson are each good enough to bring out a glow in the other." -- Grade: B- 01/16/2009
Washington Post "LAST CHANCE HARVEY winds up being a touching portrait of that rarity in the movies: a recognizably human couple with recognizably human problems and quirks." 01/16/2009
Hollywood Reporter "This sentimental romantic comedy about two aging misfits who find unlikely love benefits enormously from the casting of Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson....They pull it off with a professional nonchalance that is fun to watch." 11/09/2008
Directors
Joel Hopkins
Actors
Dustin Hoffman
Emma Thompson
Cast & Crew
James Brolin - Star
Liane Balaban - Star
Eileen Atkins - Star
Kathy Baker - Star
Richard Schiff - Star
Dustin Hoffman - Star
Emma Thompson - Star
Nicola Usborne - Producer
John de Borman - Director of Photography
Jawal Nga - Executive Producer
Robin Sales - Editor
Joel Hopkins - Screenwriter
Tim Perell - Producer
Dickon Hinchliffe - Composer
Joel Hopkins - Director
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2008
UPC 00013138001696
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 93 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Audio Tracks English
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  
Awards
Golden Globe (2009) Dustin Hoffman, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical,Emma Thompson, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
Reviews
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review Last Chance Harvey is a standard-order romantic comedy with a couple of unusual ingredients that make it worthy of notice. It is common, of course, for movies of this genre to focus on young, photogenic individuals. While not unheard of, romantic comedies featuring post-menopause women and AARP-eligible men are a rarity. In addition, when the principals of such a movie are both multiple Oscar winners, one can hardly ignore such a production, no matter how formulaic the premise and execution might be. Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson bring credibility to Last Chance Harvey merely by their presence...By echoing the motif that made Before Sunrise so popular among a segment of romantic comedy fandom - the concept of having two people fall in love as they tour a city - Last Chance Harvey provides viewers with ample opportunity to see Harvey and Kate interact. This in turn gives Hoffman and Thompson a chance to revive and enhance the on-screen chemistry they displayed in their few shared scenes in Stranger than Fiction. It's a pleasure to see them interact and to hear the way they utter some of the wry one-liners provided by writer/director Joel Hopkins' occasionally witty screenplay...Although the idea of Hoffman at a wedding might immediately call to mind The Graduate, Last Chance Harvey has no tangible links to the Mike Nichols classic...Hopkins understands the conventions of the romantic comedy and lets the storyline play out in a largely predictable manner. This is a film of small pleasures that come through dialogue and character interaction, but there are few (if any) surprises. It's a romantic comedy for an older generation, arguing that the fantasy of falling in love isn't just for the young, no matter how much Hollywood seems to believe differently.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review "Last Chance Harvey" is a tremendously appealing love story surrounded by a movie not worthy of it. For Dustin Hoffman, after years of character roles (however good) and dubbing the voices of animated animals, it provides a rare chance to play ... an ordinary guy. For Emma Thompson, there is an opportunity to use her gifts for tact and insecurity. For both, their roles project warmth and need...When "Last Chance Harvey" gets out of their way and leaves them alone to relate with each other, it's sort of magical. Then the lumber of the plot apparatus is trundled on, and we wish it were a piece for two players. One subplot, scored with funny-bumpy-scary music, is entirely unnecessary...One subplot works well. After Kate starts Harvey talking about why his relationship with his daughter failed, she tells him he must attend her wedding reception. He says she must go with him. He will buy her a dress. There is a gratuitous and offensive montage of her trying on dresses, including one frilly gown that looks perfect for a fancy dress ball in "Gone With the Wind." Not only is this montage an exhausted cliche, they're in a hurry, remember? But when they get to the reception, Harvey is touching in a carefully worded speech..."Last Chance Harvey" has everything it needs but won't stop there. It needs the nerve to push all the way. It is a pleasure to look upon the faces of Hoffman and Thompson, so pleasant, so real. Their dialogue together finds the right notes for crossing an emotional minefield. They never descend into tear-jerking or cuteness. They are all grown up and don't trust love nearly as much as straight talk. Hopkins deserves credit for creating these characters. Then he should have stood back and let them keep right on talking. Their pillow talk would have been spellbinding.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 8
Features
DVD
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
Quotes
Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post ...a touching portrait of that rarity in the movies: a recognizably human couple with recognizably human problems and quirks.
Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times ...[a] surprisingly hopeful film, with beautifully attenuated performances by Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson.
Claudia Puig, USA Today Last Chance Harvey is the Before Sunrise for the over-45 set.
Connie Ogle, Miami Herald Provides the rare pleasure of a blossoming romance between two people older than Kate Hudson or Ryan Reynolds.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone Richly funny and touching, it's too good to resist!

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Soft but likable movie by Trent Thorpe on Jul 23, 2009


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