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Starting out in the Evening (2007)

Cast: Frank Langella, Lauren Ambrose, Lauren Ambrose, more...
Director: Andrew Wagner, Andrew Wagner
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Rating:
Studio: Lionsgate
Genre: Drama, Independent
Running Time: 111 min.
Languages: English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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Synopsis
Frank Langella (Dracula, Good Night, and Good Luck.) stars in Andrew Wagner's independent drama Starting Out in the Evening, an adaptation of the acclaimed 1999 best-seller by Brian Morton. Langella plays Leonard Schiller, a once-celebrated author whose first four novels inspired Heather Wolfe (Lauren Ambrose) to pursue a career as a writer. These days, Leonard is still working toward completion of the novel that has occupied his life for nearly a decade. On the surface, Leonard has removed himself completely from the deep-seated need for success that characterized his life at an earlier point in time; but on a more buried level, he still longs for his fiction to be rediscovered and re-acclaimed. Now an eager graduate student in the throes of her thesis, Heather is writing her dissertation on Schiller, and promptly convinces him that she can use the thesis to regenerate popularity and discovery of his work. Heather also projects personal interest in Leonard, however, which cuts straight through to the core of his loneliness and brings him in touch with his need for a meaningful relationship even as it leaves him feeling shaken and increasingly uncertain. Meanwhile, Leonard finds that his relationship with his daughter, Ariel (Lili Taylor), is challenged, both by Heather's presence and by Ariel's decision to begin dating her former boyfriend Casey (Adrian Lester) once again -- a fact that Leonard finds most upsetting thanks to his disapproval of Casey. Suddenly, Leonard feels his entire world turned upside down, from his familial relationships to the security of his writing to his own physical vitality -- but he is also taking risks and plunging headfirst into the core of life for the first time, thus living out the principles long celebrated and upheld in his fiction and giving himself the capacity to grow. ~ Nathan Southern, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

The Elderly Writer, at Home and Elsewhere by talltale April 25, 2008 - 12:27 PM PDT
12345678910
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Langella is magnificent (certainly better, and a thousand times less showy, than Daniel Day-Lewis in the overrated "There Will Be Blood"). Lili Taylor and Adrian Lester are fine, as well. Only Lauren Ambrose disappoints a bit: She's either too young for this role or has not learned how to provide herself with the necessary intellectual grad student veneer. Director Andrew Wagner ("The Talent Given Us") doesn't quite know how to bring it all home, but he, screenwriter Fred Parnes, and a fine cast still manage to grace us with an interesting and believable look into the life of an aging New York writer. STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING is very much worth seeing.




GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 6.60)
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