Best movie of this year hands down!
Clever, believable, and super fun to watch. It totally has replay value.
True to its essence, the characters remain on the same line and manage to entertain the viewer, each highlighting their own distinctive qualities or touches.
A terrific literary drama and character piece that shows how the process of creating art can be seen differently by those doing it and those looking at it from the outside.
I struggled with how to rate this. The acting was good and the story was good, but the idea that someone can be so controlling, selfish and mean her whole life, and at the end of that life when she is all alone because of that behavior, have her actions suddenly transformed into, to paraphrase, "making people be all they can be" is bull. Like I said, she was a mean, selfish and controlling person who no one liked, and never even attempts to make any redemption for that.
This movie was thoughtful,inspiring and spoke volumes of the human condition. The honesty of Miss.Shirley McClain's character was refreshing and strong. The cast was bright and young and the sound track was hip and retro. We don't make mistakes, mistakes make us, fall on your face and fall hard!
This review of The Last Word is spoiler free** (2/5)AS WITH EVERY other film were an octogenarian is the lead, The Last Word opens with a set of photos and a kick-back retro song to show the life that they once had. Here the octogenarian is Hollywood legend Shirley MacLaine who at 83 years old has had one stunning career, from Billy Wilder's The Apartment to James L. Brooks' Tears of Endearment she's been in it all. And every time she's given stunning performances, she's no stranger to the spotlight. In her latest starrer The Last Word she plays Harriet Lauler, a retired businesswoman who likes to control everything and everyone, in turn leading her to be one of the most hated people.We open with her alone in her lavish manor, she's sad, almost tear-filled and for a while the sympathetic feeling this leaves is effective. She decides that she wants her obituary written, she employs young journalist Anne (Seyfried) to write it for her. Who learns the truth about Harriet's life, asking people what she's like as a person, it's much the same answer; she's mean, controlling, angry and hated, thus ending the sympathy we feel for in the opening. Anne decides to tell Harriet the truth, and she makes an attempt to change her life.MacLaine is the polishing appearance, giving an honest and brave performance she makes you feel for her, she's a loving grandmother type figure to her young high-spirited intern Brenda (Lee Dixon) and she's a good friend to Anne, as the lead it takes a while to warm up to her. By the time she warms up to her sympathetic measures – it goes away. To be fair, you can't blame director Mark Pellington who has had many big screen hits since his 1997 debut Going All The Way, it's the material that's to blame, it's predictable, clichéd and misguided – it doesn't work as a comedy. There are elements of comedy that spark there are a couple of gags more notably expressed from Brenda, this little girl brings heart to the film, she's energetic and has a lovable attitude, using her extensive f-bombs to change Harriet's ways of life. The third act brings the most life to MacLaine's shining star power, when she's on her last words she shows strength of being a good person, something that the previous hour muddled up. The Last Word is an un-funny, predictable, clichéd, misguided and a sort of trashy excuse for a redemption story that doesn't deserve the polished star power of a long-lived Hollywood legend. VERDICT: Although MacLaine fiercely gives her all, this is a misguidedly dim comedy-drama with fiery good intentions that push it through its ideas, but not enough heart to complete them.
Wealthy woman, a former business titan living a very precise and orderly--and lonely--existence in her nearly-empty manor, wants the final say on her future obituary. Having kept her local paper alive for many years with her advertising dollars, she self-assigns the obituary reporter with the task of putting an optimistic spin on her life. What begins as a very thin character study of a straight-talking yet annoying character slowly blossoms into the much more rewarding story of a pushy old lady who manages to transform her bitter existence with friendship. Granted, friendship doesn't come easily to this control-freak, but what transpires on her journey to personal redemption is surprising and rewarding. The sassy dialogue in Stuart Ross Fink's screenplay doesn't ring true (and some of the actors cast in the smaller roles haven't a hope in hell of making it sound natural), but leads Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried develop a pleasing scratchy-and-smooth rapport (they also co-executive produced). MacLaine has yet another turn at playing a stubborn, impossible woman (she's making it a habit). While her Harriet here isn't necessarily a plausible creation, she's certainly a colorful bouquet of quirks, tied up with a cackle and a smart retort. ** from ****