Evening unites a stellar cast, and is based on the beloved novel by Susan Minot and adapted for the screen by Ms. Minot and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham (The Hours), under the direction of Lajos Koltai (Fate less), who was previously an Academy Award-nominated cinematographer.
Evening is a deeply emotional film that illuminates the timeless love which binds mother and daughter – seen through the prism of one mother’s life as it crests with optimism, navigates a turning point, and ebbs to its close. Two pairs of real-life mothers and daughters – Vanessa Redgrave and Natasha Richardson, and Meryl Streep and Mamie Gummer – portray, respectively, a mother and her daughter and the mother’s best friend at different stages in life.
Overcome by the power of memory, Ann Lord (Ms. Redgrave) reveals a long-held secret to her concerned daughters; Constance (Ms. Richardson), a content wife and mother, and Nina (Toni Collette), a restless single woman. Both are bedside when Ann calls out for the man she loved more than any other.
“Evening” was a beautifully written film with seamless transitions between the 1950’s and present as a woman on her deathbed remembers and examines her complicated love life of years ago. While the language in the film clearly prevents it from receiving the Dove Family-Approved Seal, it was an emotionally moving story with an excellent cast. I expected to see a romantic love story and while the film did contain one, it was explored through the eyes of best girlfriends and, as a viewer, I found myself interested more in the relationship between the two female friends rather than the handsome doctor and leading lady. It isn’t the typical “chick flick” but rather a realistic portrayal of family and friendship. As I left I couldn’t help but wonder what stories my own grandmother and mother have locked away in their hearts.