Are there options after 40? Ways to redirect a life lived less than perfectly later in the game? "Last Chance Harvey" answers these questions with a resounding, if beguilingly quiet, absolutely.
Harvey (Dustin Hoffman) is off to London—much to the peril of his jingle-writing employment--to witness the wedding of his daughter, who has ousted pops from the ceremony in favor of being given away by her stepfather. He heads off without attending the reception to make the plane to an important work meeting back in the US; spoiler alert: he doesn’t get to attend that gathering of humans either. Enter Emma Thompson as Kate, a 40-something employee at Heathrow Airport who is going about her job at London’s travel hub and suffering life’s little indignities with wit and barely-perceptible ennui. Things haven’t quite gone as planned for her either, but somehow the two together holds the kind of promise that either separately have long-since ceased hoping for in their middling lives.
The premise isn’t exactly new, but the path to happiness for the duo is like a sweet dance; where most blockbuster lovey-dovey movies these days go for the lambada, "Last Chance Harvey" is more of a chaste waltz, maybe a fox trot, with jokes. It’s subtle, restrained, and involves a lot of side steps, but the ultimate collection of footwork by the two Oscar winner is a classic.
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