Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Kathy Baker, James Brolin
Dir: Joel Hopkins
It’s always great to see an Oscar winning actor demonstrating their craft but then two, in the form of Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson; got head to head you know that you are in for a treat.
And Last Chance Harvey as the pair of popular actors both turn in fabulous performances in a movie that will warm the cockles of your heart.
Hoffman stars as Harvey Shine, a divorced and haggard jingle-writer quickly aging out of his career and workaholic ways. With a warning from his boss to not bother rushing back, Harvey goes to London, begrudgingly, for his daughter's wedding, fielding that work calls the whole time he's there.
When Harvey greets his estranged daughter, Susie (Liane Balaban), it becomes clear just how far away he's grown from his family. Harvey has grown so distant from his only child that she has asked her step father to give her away.
As Harvey leaves his heartbreak at the ceremony for an emergency work call, he misses his flight and gets fired. While nursing a whiskey at the airport bar, Harvey bumps into Kate (Emma Thompson), an airport employee escaping her own bad day with a glass of wine and a book.
Suddenly taken by Kate's British charm, a tipsy Harvey bombards her with tales of his trouble. This unlikely trading of sob stories leads to lunch, a walk around London, and a day of unexpected romance.
The story being Last Chance Harvey is very simple Harvey isn’t a particularly good husband or father, which sees a marriage end in divorce. He drifts further and further away from his family that he finds himself alone and full of regrets.
But having met Kate he finds that spark reignited in him as he tries to put things right. But it’s the performances that are delivered by the central character that make this film more complicated and moving that you would expect.
Hoffman is simply brilliant as Harvey, a man who has lost his way in life and squandered everything, yet he wears this smile to the world not showing them the pain that his is in.
As you would expect Emma Thompson is charming as Kate, a lonely middle-age woman struggling to deal with her mother's constant prying into her life. Despite not having had the best of luck in romance, Kate is an optimist at heart and a spark for life that means she never gives in together.
The pair have great chemistry together and the relationship that grows between Kate and Harvey is warm and incredibly real.
Last Chance Harvey is a film of real optimism it shows that you are never too old to fall in love and make new memories. It’s also a movie about putting the past, as well as any fears behind you; it’s never too late to make amends.
Ok so the ending may be a little predictable but Last Chance Harvey is a heart warming and up lifting movie that will leave you with a smile on your face.
Last Chance Harvey is out on DVD now.