Writing at the Huffington Post, Melissa Silverstein puts its bluntly: "There has never been a more impressive female cast assembled in a single film."

She is speaking of the new film, "Evening," based on a 1998 novel by Susan Minot — and here’s a partial list of that jaw-dropping cast: Vanessa Redgrave, Natasha Richardson (Redgrave’s daughter), Meryl Streep,
Mamie Gummer (Streep’s daughter), Glenn Close, Eileen Atkins, Toni Collette and Claire Danes.

Silverstein was particularly was blown away by Danes’ performance as Ann Grant, whom Danes plays in flashbacks (Redgrave plays her in the film’s present-day).

Danes told the Chicago Tribune what drew her to the character: "She’s ambitious, has a strong sense of self and a really vivid imagination, which has served her and has also created a sense of possibility. But that can also lead to a sense of disappointment."

Silverstein’s only disappointment comes from the choice of a male director:

Hungarian cinematographer turned director Lajos Koltai does a fine job. But wouldn’t this have been a perfect opportunity for a woman director? Why is Hollywood willing to give European men like Koltai and Gabriele Muccino (who had never directed a movie in English before last year’s The Pursuit of Happyness) opportunities they won’t give women?

Susan Minot, the author of the novel with co-screenwriting credits on the film, has her own set of disappointments, as Celia McGee explains in this New York Times story on Minot’s reluctant collaboration with Michael Cunningham. She ultimately distanced herself from the film production because Cunningham, with the producer’s blessing, began altering characters and locales more than she was comfortable doing herself.

As David M. Halbfinger notes, "Evening" is one of the many films geared toward adults being released this summer, instead of waiting, as is customary, for the fall Oscar season. So it’s time to ask:

What films are on your must-see list? And what would you recommend to WVFC readers?


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