You know, in different hands this film would have been barely viewable for the midnight to two slot on the Hallmark Channel, but thanks to the talent involved, “Evening” actually worked for me. When you have a murderer’s row of talent on set like Claire Danes, Meryl Streep, Vanessa Redgrave, Toni Colette, Glenn Close, Miranda Richardson, Patrick Wilson, and Barry freaking Bostwick, the actors could read aloud an IRS audit and it would be worth the price of admission. They needed all that talent, because the screenplay’s blah.
This is a breathtakingly beautiful film – it involves a present-day woman on her deathbed reminiscing to a handful of nights back during her post-college days in the 1950s. Vanessa Redgrave plays the present-day version, Claire Danes the old-school version. The movie’s flashbacks are because the Redgrave character is dying, suffering from dementia, and can’t tell the present from the past – the film slides between the two quite nicely, which is rare since Hollywood loves to smack us over the head with a two-by-four when it comes to shifts is time or perception. The actors do a great job across the board, with the exception of Gap song-and-dance man Patrick Wilson, who is the object of everyone’s lust but doesn’t ever get the chance to demonstrate why he’s so life-changing aside from the fact that he looks pretty.
But: the movie’s long. Bring an extra bladder or two. And it’s a chick flick of biblical proportions, so have mercy on your boyfriend or husband and have him go to the theater across the hall to watch the “Die Hard” sequel.