Mr. Morgan's Last Love

Mr. Morgan's Last Love

(2013)

Feel-good adaptation of French novel La Douceur Assassine that tells the story of an unlikely friendship between an American widower living in Paris (Michael Caine) and a young French dance instructor (In Bruges's Clémence Poésy).... More

When the wife of Princeton philosophy professor Matthew Morgan (Caine) passes away, he retires to Paris and contemplates suicide. There he meets the disarming Pauline (Poésy) on a bus, whose sunny disposition slowly transforms his dark outlook on life. After he is hospitalised, Matthew also seeks to reconnect with estranged son and daughter, played by Justin Kirk (Weeds) and Gillian Anderson (The X-Files), and put the demons of his past to rest.Hide

Flicks Review

Early on in director Sandra Nettelbeck’s drama, a knock at the door prevents Michael Caine’s suicide. It’s a pretty good gauge of a film’s tedium level when you’re cursing the interruption to the lead character’s demise. The cast deliver committed performances but, in a movie delivered at a snail’s pace, there’s way too much time to notice the devil in the details. Caine’s subtle portrayal of Matthew, a retired Harvard lecturer, grieving the death of his wife and estranged from his kids (Gillian Anderson and Justin Kirk), is constantly undermined. Not least by a dire American accent and a fat tummy cushion shoved up his shirt, in what looks like a botched attempt at portraying early pregnancy.... More

A script containing dramatic beats akin to bad daytime TV movies isn’t helped by Hans Zimmer’s score, reveling in “sad soundtrack” cliché. There’s some humour: when Matthew meets the far younger Pauline (Clémence Poésy), he tells her he taught philosophy. She replies she’s a teacher too – of cha-cha. However, the movie’s missing the glorious wit of say, Venus, in which Peter O’Toole excelled as a pensioner forming a dubious ‘friendship’ with a woman young enough to be his granddaughter.

Adapted from a French novel, I was left with the impression that this could have been a far better movie with a tighter script, a lighter touch, an accent coach, less stagey direction and 30 minutes snipped. It’s not terrible, but it is terribly slow. Paris is shot lovingly but, in the end, it’s the acting that lifts this otherwise plodding exercise in middle-class melancholy.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 1 ratings, 1 reviews
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BY freshdude superstar

I liked this film a lot. Yes, it has many flaws but none of them really bothered me as most were mere details and did not take away from the essence of the film. What got me was the universal themes: the grief, the human connections, the ache and the longing ... the complexity of relationship, be it friends, family or lover.
This film will definitely find its audience in the art-house crowd, rather than the multiplex.


The Press Reviews

35% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Hardly presents itself as a challenging picture, tugging as it does at the heartstrings with gentle persistence, but at its best moments, it is a sweetly considered one. Full Review

  • The main problem is a structural one, as it is really two films in one. Full Review

  • Though there are some small, beautiful moments in Nettelbeck’s drama, Last Love as a whole feels like it’s been dosed with Xanax. Full Review

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