Mr. Morgan's Last Love

"Good"

Mr. Morgan's Last Love Review


Complex emotions and a gentle exploration of interpersonal connections make this Paris-set drama worth a look, especially since it's so nicely played by the eclectic cast. German filmmaker Sandra Nettlelbeck (Mostly Martha) lets the story unfold slowly and steadily, getting deep under the skin of the characters in the process. The draggy pace sometimes makes the two-hour running time feel very long indeed, but it lets the cast to take the time to create rich, detailed connections that are easy to identify with.

It's been three years since Matthew Morgan (Michael Caine) buried his wife Joan (Jane Alexander) in a cemetery in Paris, their chosen home. Now he imagines her everywhere he goes, feeling her absence all the time until he runs into the young dance instructor Pauline (Clemence Poesy). Not only does she remind him of Joan, but he fills a gap left in her life after her father died. So the two begin an offbeat friendship that feels more like family than anything else. Even so, Matthew's loneliness sparks a visit from his son Miles (Justin Kirk) and daughter Karen (Gillian Anderson), who's too busy to stay for very long. They of course don't trust Pauline. And as she witnesses Matthew's interaction with them, she begins to understand that he has never related to them as a father.

While the premise sets things up for a whole lot of healing and sentimentality, the script avoids this by remaining earthy and raw, digging deep into the characters without trying to explain everything they are doing or thinking. There certainly isn't a right way to mend the problems between Matthew and his children, although it's clear that a bit of openness and respect will go a long way. Caine plays this beautifully, with a spark of wry humour alongside Matthew's relentless pain. His scenes with Poesy have a delicate chemistry that is refreshingly difficult to fully understand, and yet it feels authentic. And when Miles enters their world, things shift in even more interesting directions.

That said, the sleepy pace and down-beat tone sometimes stretch the patience, especially as the central idea seems to be that the intensity of grief affects our own perception in ways we are incapable of seeing. But there is also plenty of humour and joy in the film, plus a lively running dialog about the meaning of life (Matthew is a retired philosophy professor). And sometimes we need to be reminded that self-discovery is a task that is never finished. And that the people around us can help us in ways we can't imagine, but only if we let them.



Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Production compaines: Bavaria Pictures, Senator Film Produktion

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Producer: Astrid Kahmke, Frank Kaminski, Philipp Kreuzer, Ulrich Stiehm

Starring: as Matthew Morgan, as Pauline Laubie, as Karen Morgan, as Miles Morgan, as Joan Morgan, Richard Hope as Stamp Collector, as Madame Léry, Yannick Choirat as Lucien, as Madme Dune


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

45 Years Movie Review

45 Years Movie Review

Like an antidote to vacuous blockbusters, this intelligent, thoughtful drama packs more intensity into a...

Straight Outta Compton Movie Review

Straight Outta Compton Movie Review

This biopic gallops through the career of groundbreaking gangsta rappers N.W.A, working its way through...

We Are Your Friends Movie Review

We Are Your Friends Movie Review

Basically the perfect summer movie, this lightweight drama has a great-looking cast and plenty of...

Sinister 2 Movie Review

Sinister 2 Movie Review

As the ghoul from the 2012 horror hit stalks a new family, this sequel's sharply...

Advertisement
Paper Towns Movie Review

Paper Towns Movie Review

After setting the scene with vivid characters and some insightful interaction, the plot of this...

Vacation Movie Review

Vacation Movie Review

Both the characters and the tone have been updated as a new generation of Grizwolds...

Trainwreck Movie Review

Trainwreck Movie Review

Amy Schumer makes her big screen debut with a script that feels like a much-extended...

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review

Adopting a deliciously groovy vibe, Guy Ritchie turns the iconic 1960s TV spy series into...

Advertisement