Reviewed by: The Film Snob
Synopsis: Frank Langella plays Leonard Schiller, a once great author who is mercifully approaching the end of his life. While working on her thesis, Heather (Lauren Ambrose) has the opportunity to work with Leonard, who has long served as her literary hero. As expected, the two form a friendship that is simultaneously beautiful and somewhat inappropriate.
Review: What a great movie title–Starting Out in the Evening–that is the reason I watched this movie. Well, that and Frank Langella. This is a familiar story in some regards–the elderly genius is rejuvenated by the young love interest. Although, the plot is not quite that simple because Leonard is not quite that simple.
Langella’s performance is really what saves the film. He plays the character perfectly–taking Leonard from typical to exceptional–from static to dynamic.
One more thing that I’d like to note is that I did like that the movie didn’t wrap up in a nice bow. Leonard doesn’t meet Heather and be cured of all his recent writing ailments. Heather helps him to enjoy the last chapter of his life–not write a new one.
I could go on, but to be truthful–I don’t have much else to say about the movie and I don’t wish to waste the reader’s time. I will say this one last thing–at one point Leonard references a book critic who describes his style as just trying to “read the hell out of the book.” I think that’s a great quote–I’m going to try to watch the hell out of some movies. That is all.
Recommendation: If it’s on tv and you like to watch movies about the human drama then go for it. Otherwise you’re going to want to avoid.