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Last Chance Harvey

It's about first loves, last chances and everything in between.

Comedy, drama and romance embrace each other warmly in this richly layered story about two outsiders who discover that today is tomorrow. Dustin Hoffman is Harvey, the disillusioned musician who writes low-brow jingles and Emma Thompson is spinster Kate, who seems to find comfort in disappointment. Hoffman and Thompson together have an intangible screen chemistry that makes us immediately care for them and wonder about the possibilities. Their lives are continents apart, yet together they discover what is important. Joel Hopkins has written a sensitive and observant screenplay that is both funny and moving as we are privy to awkward moments that go horribly wrong as well as those that happily go right, when we least expect them. Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson are superb together, their differences sheer joy to watch as the English spinster begins to thaw under the gentle attentions of the older Yank divorced father. But the relationship that begins at an airport bar - in one of the film's many terrific scenes - is wonderfully muted (as well as amusing) and by this time, we've been introduced to both characters and know their difficult personal circumstances. She is trying to manage her ageing mother (lovely performance by Eileen Atkins) and he's trying to cope with losing his job and rejection by his daughter. Joel Hopkins has written and directed a real treasure of a film, its tone perfectly pitched, its dialogue absolutely right and delivered with performances that will remain in our hearts and minds for a very long time. Thompson's style is perfectly suited to the role of Kate, a no nonsense English woman who appears to be in control but is so used to being disappointed she doesn't want to give it up. Dustin Hoffman underplays to great effect, and the script allows him to be economical both in manner and in speech. In one of the other great scenes, Harvey offers to meet Kate at the same spot; Hoffman conveys all the importance and meaning of what he feels without saying a word about it. The conversation is about a rendezvous time and place, but the interior conversation is about emotions swelling his occasionally misbehaving heart. There's much to enjoy in Last Chance Harvey, from the journey of the characters to the humour and the pain that paves that journey; it's his last chance, and not only at his job. So don't miss a chance to see Last Chance Harvey." - Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile
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Directed by: 
Joel Hopkins
Running Time: 
Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Kathy Baker, James Brolin
Screenplay by: 
Joel Hopkins

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