© Universal Pictures International Germany GmbH

Spuren eines Lebens (Evening)
U.S.A./Germany 2007

Opening 10 Jan 2008

Directed by: Lajos Koltai
Writing credits: Susan Minot, Michael Cunningham
Principal actors: Claire Danes, Toni Collette, Vanessa Redgrave, Patrick Wilson, Hugh Dancy

Four veteran actresses, Vanessa Redgrave, Eileen Atkins, Meryl Streep and Glenn Close, carry this story alongside the younger Claire Danes, Toni Colette and Natasha Richardson, in a drama directed by Lajos Koltai, with screenplay by Susan Minot and Michael Cunningham.

Ann Lord (Redgrave) lies at death's door, comforted by her somewhat estranged daughters, Nina (Collette) and Constance (Richardson). In her delirium, Ann begins to speak of events long past and the mistakes she made as a younger woman. Her daughters are intrigued to hear the names of friends – Lila (Mami Grummer) and Buddy (Hugh Dancy) – and lovers – Harris (Patrick Wilson) – they have never heard of before, wondering if they truly existed or are just figments of Ann's imagination. Little by little, a story of passion and tragedy is revealed through Ann's dream journeys into her past. In moments of lucidity, Ann is able to share some of the wisdom she has acquired with each of her daughters, hoping it will serve to rebuild their dysfunctional relationship, and, at the same time, to get Nina's life on track.

While the acting is consistently good, the movie's story appears to be made up of a series of dramatic moments which do not always hang together; nor was it as insightful or inspiring as was probably the hope of all involved. (Osanna Vaughn)

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